Contractor Tips: How to Choose and Install Windows:

5 factors to consider when picking and placing windows throughout your home

Windows are a major investment. They need to bring the outside in when you want, but also have to keep the elements at bay when you don't. The options for style, function and performance can be overwhelming. Below are five things to consider before you purchase replacement windows, and tips on deciding whether to repair or replace.

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Modern Window Blinds - Style, Practicality and Convenience in the Office

Hunter Douglas Aluminum Blinds

Metal venetian blinds give your home office a stylish sophistication, especially when coordinating with the colour of your carpet or walls. Tailor-making the blinds to fit flush to the edges of each window adds that extra professional touch to the appearance of the workspace and the modern designers can now offer you even more.

Working from home is often misinterpreted as pure luxury - you can easily get distracted from work with all of your home amenities at hand. Family phone calls and interruptions can become commonplace as everybody else innocently believes it is okay to ask you a quick question at your desk. In order for home-working to succeed, you need your own office space that emits an office atmosphere.

With the right furniture and hardware, your office can become an inspiration for you. Shutting yourself away in there automatically puts you into 'work mode' but you should also enjoy your environment in order to enhance productivity.

Good natural lighting is always needed, especially when working on computers. With the right set of window blinds, you can alter the lighting according to the Sun's position (and strength) throughout the day. Metal venetian blinds also reduce sound - so when the neighbourhood children return from school, you can shut out their noise for optimum concentration towards the end of your working day.

Alternatively, opening the window to let in some fresh air during a quiet morning/late night, is made much easier as contemporary window blinds can be fitted to the inner frames of the window, instead of the wall overhang. This means the blinds move outwards with your window, so you don't have to roll them up beforehand.

Should you want to alter the angle of the blinds, you can even do so using a remote control now - meaning you can relax at your desk all day without fussing with them at mid-day when the sun brightly shines in.
You will spend more time in your office than any other room, so it is well worth investing in the best equipment and decor to maximise your enjoyment. Productivity improves as a result too.

Also - modern window blinds are designed to reduce heat loss, so during the winter months you will save money on energy bills trying to keep the office toasty. Blinds are easy to maintain as well, so just dust them down with your weekly clean-up and your workspace will look in top shape all year round.

Charlotte Campbell is an interior designer with over 15 years experience in the industry. She particularly loves sharing her tips on how window blinds, particularly conservatory blinds can really change the look and feel of the space.
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Venetian Blinds - The Sophisticated Way to Control Natural Room Lighting and Heat

Peering through the plastic venetians in the office can make you feel like a detective from a classic film noire flick. They look cool, understated but can sometimes be a little flimsy. For your home, it is more ideal to select a more sophisticated design to match your interior taste and a higher quality product which will last.
Wooden venetian blinds, in the right room, can provide just the homely atmosphere you're after. They are solid, move very little when it is breezy and are easily operated to control your natural lighting.

The opaqueness of a wooden venetian set means sunlight can be completely repelled during the day. Some people who work nights and sleep in the day would prefer this and the feature also helps when you want to watch an afternoon movie with no sun glare on the screen.

Alternatively, opening the blind slits to allow for some streams of sunlight can provide a nice balance of shade - really bringing out the best of your interior decor. Going even further and hitching the blinds right up means you can gaze out the full breadth of your window and enjoy the view.

This is particularly beneficial for cleaning the ledge; and when the blinds get a little dusty, wipes them down easily with a cloth. Venetian blinds will always be easy to maintain and will always fit into a contemporary setting, all the while adding an element of vintage taste to each room.

Heat control
Approximately 10% of heat in the home is lost purely through the windows. A set of stylish wooden blinds can help reduce this figure in the winter and help to repel heat in the summer. Keeping the house cool in the hotter months is a real luxury, plus the blinds have that continental (Venetian) appearance - combining that with the heat can even give your home a Mediterranean atmosphere.

The ecological benefits of installing blinds are widely published. Homes are becoming more and more energy efficient - saving you money on energy bills as a result. The right set of wooden venetians will contribute to those savings in style, indirectly paying for themselves over time.

If you choose to buy a set of blinds that come with a remote control function, you are really going to see the benefits of wooden venetians. Controlling the level of light/heat throughout the day, as you move from room to room, means you are completely comfortable 24/7. There are no fiddly string pulleys to get tangled, thus your blinds look much neater against the window.

Charlotte Campbell is an interior designer with over 15 years experience in the industry. She particularly loves sharing her tips on how blinds, particularly conservatory blinds can really change the look and feel of the space.
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Most Appreciable Qualities of Roman Shades

Hunter Douglas Vignette 
What is it that makes window shades special? Is it the reason that they save on space or is it that they save on maintenance? Or is it for the simple reason that they are much easier to use? What can be said in this respect is that, it is the roman shades that make the world of shades so much more special than it actually is. Window shades can be available at any local store when you walk in; you can take yours and install it where they are required. Or, you can go for the classic roman shades and add a touch of grandeur to your interiors, something like what the rich fabrics of curtains is otherwise meant to do.

There are so many appreciable qualities of the exquisite shades that it may take up a whole book or more to contain the details. Let us first begin with the materials that are used to make these window covering beauties. Usually, nature material and fibers are used for making roman shades. These can be fabric (fine cotton, silk etc), bamboo and even paper. Each of these materials exudes a different feel to the place where they are installed. Take for instance, the shades that are available in fabric can be vibrant with colors and almost any design can be available in the same. It can be made to suit each and every corner of the home in which it being installed.

On the other hand the bamboo roman shades are not available in such variety. Being a very natural material and having a certain texture that is unique to itself, there is little that can be done about the type in which it is available. However, bamboo being exotic in it is included in homes for the grand ethnic Asian feel that bamboo gives out. This material is also known for its ability in enhanced cooling of the room when it is hot outside and keeping the heat trapped within the interiors when the weather is cold. It is also known as natural air-conditioning, thus is welcome in any home and in any room whatsoever.

The most appreciable quality of roman shades though, is the fact that it can be custom-made by the owner. Users seldom want to run into any other homes that have the exact same shades that they have. People prefer variation and difference and this is what the option of custom making provides to the owners. This is to say that the owners of these shades can choose their own material, their own design; size and pattern to create a shade that will be an example of true uniqueness and with the guarantee that no other home will possess the same. One can make the shade all by himself / herself or they can ask the service providers to make the same for them with reference to the ideas that they provide. While the process may take a toll on the pocket of the user, the effort is worth every penny spent!

Alan Disha is a freelance author who has the vast knowledge on top down bottom up shades and solar shades.

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Wood Window Shutters For Your Home

Are you furnishing a new home? Maybe you want to give your current home a bit of a spruce? What if you could transform the look of your home with a few adjustments to your window adornments? If you're tired of less creative, more cumbersome window dressing options like curtains, then wooden window shutters might be the very accessory your home needs.

Wood window shutters are a great addition to any home because you have a range of textures, finishes, and graining options to choose from to customise a look that blends perfectly with your home's style. The really great thing about choosing wood window shutters over other materials (such as composite shutters) is that they offer a somewhat conservative, and very traditional grace. Lighter finishes can reflect a simple furnishing style while darker grains are an excellent choice for a higher level of simple sophistication. Wooden shutters are an optimum window furnishing choice because you can tailor them to suit traditional, modern, and European-style homes with a few simple customisable adjustments.

In the case of curtains in particular, you may find that support rods sag under excess weight or that hooks snap easily when you draw the curtains back and forth. Window shutters allow you to control the amount of light you let into a space and give you the bonus feature of easy privacy. Their easy-to-use (and conveniently easy-to-clean) mechanisms combine well with a variety of looks that can transform any room from drab to modern, quaint, or elegant - whichever look you choose for your home.

Beyond wooden shutters you also have the choice of aluminium, vinyl, faux wood, poly-vinyl, and many more - all in a range of colours that you can customise to your taste and your budget constraints.

If you like the sound of wood window shutters for your home but you have already spent money on curtains or blinds, don't throw in the towel just yet. Board and batten shutters are other types of wooden shutters that can add to the appeal of your home's exterior. You can get standard and heavy-duty board and batten shutters made from high quality wooden materials from a range of suppliers throughout Australia. These types of wooden window shutters will give your place a traditional look of rustic simplicity. You can also have these shutters primed to handle harsh elements so that they are more durable and will maintain their look for longer. Board and batten shutters are a simple outdoor shutter choice that you can customise with different materials and you can choose from either open or closed styles.

For window furnishings with cool, easy elegance to suit any taste, wood window shutters are a prime choice.
Fine out more information about wood window shutters for your home. Your Business Search Engine can source the best local service providers at the lowest prices so you receive nothing but the highest quality wood window shutters.

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10 Ideas to Decorate a Living Room You'll Both Love: iVillage

How to compromise on everybody’s favorite place to relax 
(11 Photos)

by Sadia Latifi

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The 2012 Reader Remodel Contest: This Old House

The 2012 Reader Remodel Contest 
Enter your remodel NOW for a chance to win a new GMC truck! Five runners-up will win cash, and all our favorites will be featured in July's 100% Reader-Created Issue. 

Kitchen Design Guide: HGTV

Create your dream kitchen with our inspirational tips for color, space planning, decorating and trends

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Designers' Simplest Makeover Ideas: House Beautiful

From adding dimmers to finally saying goodbye to 'make-do' furniture, 6 interior designers share the secrets of their own quick-change acts.

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Use Shutters to Highlight Your Home's Appeal

Shutters are a fantastic option whether you're looking to dress up your home or add some effortless sophistication to your business. Shutters are simply the best possible choice because you have so many options.

You can customise aluminium, wooden, vinyl, and so many more materials to match your home or office's decor with contemporary styles that will give any room a flawless finish. Window shutters are an excellent alternative to gaudy or stuffy curtains and other window dressings and they have an added advantage in that they help banish excessive amounts of light and emphasise your privacy while maintaining an easy sophistication. Why would you settle for inferior, far less attractive plastic blinds and shutter options when you can add elegant emphasis to your home with attractive timber or aluminium shutters?

Hunter Douglas™ Heritance® Shutters
Both aluminium and wooden window shutters are also more durable than typical plastic shutter ranges, which makes them a much greater asset both in saving you money and protecting your home in particular. With the help of a professional window shutter provider, you can customise shutters for your home or business with personalised colouring and staining options and complete the job with the highest quality finish. Stylish window shutters will add to the appeal of your home with shutter and blind options available from many trusted providers who are readily available to help you select and install your favourite options.

Window shutters are also an excellent choice for internal furnishing because they are available in the widest range of styles and colours to cater for every taste and budget. It doesn't matter whether you're looking for aluminium, timber, venetian, or plantation shutters, because at your disposal you have a variety of shutter and window professionals who can give you a range of options with security, style, and your budget in mind.

The vast majority of shutters are also designed with high functionality in mind so that you can transition from night to day with louvre systems that are easy to use. When you're shopping for shutters, keep in mind you have the option of full height shutters split into sections to fit full-length windows or doors - and they give you ease of choice for both light control and privacy - a feature that is hard to come by in other window furnishing options.

Shutters are a great option for your home because they give any space a distinguished aura without burning a hole in your wallet. Shutter blinds are a fantastic choice for any home or business because of the diverse range of styles, colours, and premium options at your disposal. Choose internal shutters to add some zest to your indoor windows and doors or opt for external shutters for protection and style. Why settle for dull and traditional when you can choose contemporary styles with effortless elegance?

If you want to find shutters to suit your home, you'll find a host of providers at your disposal. We'll help you find a quote and an affordable service so you can find shutters fast without a hitch.

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Explore the Wonders of Top Down Bottom Up Shades

Hunter Douglas Duette Honeycomb

Expert Author Indra Jit GhoshHome decoration without window treatments is just like painting a picture without applying colors. Proper window treatments happen to be life for the rooms. If you hang proper shades and blinds at the windows, they help surely to raise the overall appearance value of the room. Following this fact, many of the fashionable homemakers bend on installing efficient window treatments while making over their homes.

Top down bottom up shades are a rich variety under the window blinds. Fashionable and elegant in style, these amazing window treatments have great utilities to perform. When you look for an effective replacement for the curtains, you can select these top down shades for the rooms.

Many of you may not have specific idea on how the top down bottom up blinds work. These shades are in fashion nowadays for both being fancy and useful. In addition, using these shades is easier when compared to other available shades in the market. If you want to install an easy-to-operate shade at your home, top down bottom up shades must be the best of choice. With rollers both at the bottom and the top side, these blinds have almost caused a revolution in the world of curtains, shades, draperies, and other sorts of window treatments.

For a clearer understanding, let us explore some more interesting utilities of these top down bottom up shades.
The top down blinds are perfect options when you look forward to maintain the privacy of the rooms while enjoying the sunlight simultaneously. These amazing shades are designed in much elegant fashion to provide you with these advantages efficiently. The fabrics at the top part of the top down shades happen to be sturdier to prevent the peeping eyes of the onlookers. On the other hand, the down side of the shades is quite soft and feathery that it allows sunlight to come inside while not allowing anyone to peep through the windows.

In addition to the windows, top down bottom up shades can be installed at some other parts of the room as well. For example, these shades can be nicest options for the bathroom window too. The shade prevents outside viewers smartly while allowing the sunlight to pass inside the bathroom. Sunlight is good for your bathroom, as it kills many germs and bacteria and reduces the moist inside as well. However, you should opt for a moist-free blind for the bathroom, so that the shade is durable and dries up quickly.

These stylish and elegant window blinds are equally apt for office installation as well. Applying the top down bottom up shades at the office premises enhance the beauty of the windows while providing the employees an additional warmth of work. The multi pulling facility of these shades would certainly help them to enjoy the sunlight or the skyline during their free times.

Last but most important, you can go for the top down bottom up shades simply to raise the aesthetic value of the rooms. Available in different shades, colors, prints, fabrics, and themes, these shades are best type of window treatments for your home.

Hi here I am sharing my knowledge on interior decoration. People can decorate there home using beautiful roman shades in there living room to get a royal roman shades finished.
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5,130 Home Office Design Photos:

Gone are the days when it was frowned upon to bring work home. Now-a-days a home is not a home unless it has a home office. Whether you are turning an extra bedroom into a workspace with store bought furniture or constructing a full scale two level library and office, home offices are a regular part of what makes a house a home.

Tiffany Blue Girls Lounge eclectic home office
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The Best Drapery for Your Windows Are Roman Shades

Hunter Douglas Vignette Modern Roman Shades 

Expert Author Indra Jit GhoshRoman shades are the ultimate option for decorating your windows. Whether it is Christmas or any other special occasion in your home and you are expecting lot of guest, surprise them with your new shades. The roman shades are available in various colors and designs. The vibrant shades of the shades have made them very popular and demanding.

In order to give a timeless look to your windows, decorate them with the roman shades. The wide range of windows will surely match your taste and style. Some of the things are to be kept in mind while purchasing the shades like the material or the fabric, the kind of folds to be used and the colors that would be best to buy. There are few guide for the buyers mentioned below:-

Fabric/materials: This is one of the important factors to be kept in mind while buying your roman shades. The usual fabric that are used for making roman shades are polyester, linen, cotton, silk, patterned fabrics, textured linen shades and many others. Each of the material has their own advantages and while choosing them you need to consider your requirement like its durability, thickness, how much they can resist stain etc.

Colours/ patterns: The colours are sure to attract your attention and take away the breath of your guests. There is a wide range of colours and designs available to match your personality. It is better to go for the darker shades during summer as they will allow fewer sunrays to pass through thus keeping the room cool. You can also choose fabrics matching your furniture designs. If you have a traditional taste, you can go for the conventional designs. The window blinds also have modern designs in case you are looking for trendy looks for your windows.

Light filtering roman shades: The light filtering shades tells how much light can be allowed in. If you want to allow a lot of light to pour in, you are advised to go for the lighter shades. For getting complete blockage of sunrays, you need to buy the fabric with maximum opacity.

Fold style: the type you want for your roman shades is also a big decision. There are four types of folds that are generally available. They are the flat style fold, the European style fold, and the hobbled fold roman shades style, the classic style fold. The classic style is the most common type of fold. It gives you the most clean and elegant look. In the flat style fold, the folds get settled on one another when raised up. There's not much difference between the European style and the flat fold style. The difference generally lies in the bottom that curves around in a circular. Each and every style of the fold is elegant and represents a different class altogether.

Usability: You need consider the durability as well. You would naturally not want to spend bucks on something that would not last long. Durability also depends on your handling the material. You have taken proper care of the material only then it would serve you well.

Indra is an author who has the vast knowledge on top down bottom up shades and faux wood blinds.
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Hollywood Residence eclectic living room
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Fabulous Window Dressing

Expert Author Lindsey WatsonHow you treat your windows can have a great impact on your entire room so you should think carefully about the look you're wanting to achieve and also the practicality of the materials you are choosing. For example, although lace curtains may look very pretty in your bedroom, if you have very draughty old windows then you would be far better off choosing some thick lined curtains that will help keep the cold out better.

Roller blinds are very practical and they take up very little space so they are great for making small rooms look a little bigger. You can get some really great designs too, so if you want a pretty flowery blind, or a space theme blind for a kids bedroom, you should be able to find it. You can also get blackout blinds which cut out all the light. Perfect for a bedroom if you work shifts and need to sleep during the day, and also for kids rooms if you have trouble getting them off to sleep in summer when it is still light late at night. I know I have trouble convincing my kids it really is bedtime when it looks like the middle of the day outside at 7pm!

If you have a cold room, rich velvet curtains will look cosy and luxurious, and they'll also help keep the heat in the room. No matter how good your double glazing, some heat will escape through the window so good thick curtains will go some way to slowing down that heat loss. Make sure they are long enough to completely cover the window so stop any draughts getting into the room. Also when choosing curtains, consider the amount of light that is going to come through. A thin pale coloured curtain is going to let through more sunlight that dark thick curtains, so do bear this in mind if it's going to annoy you being woken up at dawn by the sun streaming in!

If you are overlooked then you may want some net curtains. They don't need to be the chintzy lace curtains your granny had in the 70's, there are lots of tasteful attractive alternatives available these days that will look good and give you some privacy.

Slatted blinds are very popular but be careful your room doesn't end up feeling like an office. Horizontal blinds work well in kitchens and bathrooms, vertical in office rooms and living spaces. The advantage of slatted blinds over roller blinds is that you can adjust the angle of the slats and therefore the amount of light that is let through.

Don't forget your window sills too. They can be as much a feature of the window as the curtains or blinds. Wood, or bright crisp white gloss paint will look clean and smart, but how about using bathroom wall tiles in a bright colour? This is especially useful in a kitchen or bathroom where wood can warp and is a great surface on which to grow plants on a kitchen windowsill.

A neglected window sill can look awful, so update yours with new Porcelain Tiles. Visit today for a wide range and unbeatable prices.

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Decorating Your Home for Romance

Expert Author Pamela JaffkeAs Valentine's Day approaches again this year, our hearts and minds turn to romance. The stores are filled with red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, Valentine's Day balloons, and, of course, Valentine cards. Who doesn't want to spend a romantic evening on Valentine's Day? But why not let the romance last all year long? Here are some tips for creating a sanctuary in your home to which you can retreat at any time, feeling relaxed and in the mood for romance.

We'll get to the bedroom, but first let's take a look at the rest of your home. Harsh lighting isn't attractive or relaxing. Install some dimmers so that you can dim the lights to create different moods. Make sure that your rooms aren't lit solely by overhead lights. Add some soft lighting through the use of table lamps and wall sconces.

Keep some fresh flowers in your home. They'll smell wonderful and add color and beauty. If fresh flowers aren't possible all the time, supplement with some green plants and silk florals. Place them in your entry, your living room, dining room, and kitchen. Make sure that your home has a pleasant and welcoming scent. Use flowers, candles, potpourri, or essential oil warmers to add wonderful scents like vanilla, sandalwood, or citrus.

Now that your home is welcoming and comfortable, let's concentrate on the master bedroom. This is your private sanctuary - the place you go to escape from the stresses of the outside world. Create the place you love coming home to - the place you'd rather be than anywhere else.

Your bedroom should have soft, beautiful lighting. Bedside lamps should have 3-way switches, allowing you to read in bed, but also to create a romantic mood. I have a salt lamp in my bedroom that creates a soft, warm glow while also releasing negative ions which are known to be relaxing and healthful. Candles also provide beautiful lighting. Everyone looks better in candlelight. Have candles on decorative plates on both nightstands, and on dressers or tables in other areas of your bedroom. Light them all when you want to create a lovely, soft glow. Choose a relaxing scent like lavender to melt your stresses away. If real candles make you nervous, there are some wonderful battery-operated candles that create a soft glow very close to real candlelight. Add a touch of an essential oil to create a relaxing scent. Place mirrors in such a way that they reflect the softened light. Mirrors also reflect life energy and are a great way to create a warm, inviting feeling in your room.

Your bed should be extremely restful and comfortable. Don't skimp on your mattress. After all, you spend one-third of your life in bed. Your bed should have luxurious linens. I love down comforters and pillows. There's nothing like the feel of down. For those who are allergic, there are now wonderful synthetic downs. But don't overdo the pillows on the bed. Keep it simple and inviting.

In the bathroom, have some soft, plush towels, and maybe even his and hers robes. You'll feel like you're at a luxurious resort. Dim the lighting or add some candles around the tub.
Window treatments should be soft but functional. Have the ability to draw the draperies or close the shades to darken the room from street lights or harsh sunlight. Flowing fabrics on your windows create a soft, romantic feeling.

In keeping with a romantic feeling, if possible, hide the TV or remove it entirely from the bedroom. An attractive armoire can be closed when the TV is not in use. Keep a small music system in the bedroom, even if it's just an iPod and some speakers. Playing some beautiful, romantic music will be very relaxing.
Colors are important to consider because they affect us physically and emotionally. For the bedroom choose soft, warm colors. Soft blues and aquas are especially soothing. Try to avoid harsh, bright colors or reds, which are more energizing than relaxing. To create an overall soft glow in your room be sure to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. You'll be amazed how relaxing it feels.

Last, but not least, remove work materials from your bedroom. If at all possible do not put a desk in your bedroom. Use an extra bedroom as an office or have a small work area in your kitchen or den. Bringing work into the bedroom will change the energy from relaxing to stressful. Try to leave the stresses of the day outside of your bedroom.

Try some of these tips and see how much better you'll feel. You can create a private, romantic sanctuary in your own home. And for Valentine's Day, add some champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Perfection!

If you're looking for home accessories that will create a soft, romantic feeling in your home, please visit our online home accessories boutique, Innovations Home Decor which features unique and beautiful lamps, candleholders, plants, artwork, and other stylish and romantic accent pieces. I've personally selected each and every piece. I hope you find something that makes you smile. Start with one room, and add your personality.

Pamela Jaffke has 25 years experience creating beautiful, functional interiors. She offers practical advice on how to create a home environment that reflects your lifestyle, your passions, and your personal taste on her Design Blog.

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A Touch of Romance for Your Bedroom Design

10 ways to make your sanctuary look its best this Valentine's Day

Whether you're planning on tucking in with your honey or good read, Valentine's Day is the perfect time of year to add a little zazazu to your bedroom. After all, it's cold outside, it's still getting dark early and the most important person the room needs to look inviting for is you. So take a careful look, clear a little clutter, add a few flowers and look at this list for a few more ideas to help your sanctuary look its best.

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Glitzy-Glam meets Farmhouse-Chic contemporary bedroom

Come, Let's Tour the Most Expensive Estate in the Country

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Friday, February 10, 2012, by Sarah Firshein

In a country full of $100M-plus properties, this one brings new meaning to the words "crown jewel." Located in the exclusive Los Angeles enclave of Holmby Hills, Fleur de Lys was designed by Richard Robertson III and completed in 2002 for billionaire David Saperstein and his then-wife, Suzanne. After David's much-publicized affair with their Swedish nanny, the two went through a much-publicized divorce that left his ex with the palatial 35,000-square-foot mansion. Much like the largest private residence in the country, Fleur de Lys was also inspired by Versailles (practically a requirement for homes of this stature, apparently) and boasts 100 total rooms, including 12 bedrooms, 15 baths, marble walls, limestone floors, a ballroom, accommodations for a 10-person staff, two kitchens, a 50-seat screening room, a nine-car garage, and a three-bedroom caretaker's house, not to mention rare Louis XIV and Louis XV antiques galore. The property first hit the market in 2007, pulled off in October 2009, and again listed for its original ask—a staggering $125M—this past July

11,973 Dining Room Design Photos:

Many of us remember the dining room from our childhood as the separate, formal room that housed the most expensive pieces of furniture and was only used on a handful of special occasions and holidays. These formal rooms are still found in today's homes but you can also find multi-purpose rooms, informal dining rooms and even outdoor dining rooms on the patio. The dining room by nature is a simple space. The focus of any dining room is its table, while the chair choice creates the overall personality of the room. Simply add an overhead light fixture and somewhere to store linens, dishes, serving pieces, and cutlery.

woodlawn residence traditional dining room

Today’s dining spaces are more inviting and personal than ever. They provide a space for a variety of functions, including doing homework, paying the bills, working jigsaw puzzles or working on a hobby. And in many homes, dining areas are connected to another room, occupying one end of a kitchen, living room or family room. In fact, many households do most of their dining on bar stools at kitchen islands or at small tables in breakfast nooks with banquette seating. Formal accents in these spaces come from accessories and place settings in lieu of dining furniture or the architecture of the room. Whatever you do, try to keep your dining table from becoming a permanent family drop zone and keep it as a soothing place for your eye to land, enhanced with a centerpiece or candles that suit the season and your personal style, whether that be a glam candelabra or beautiful bowl of fruit.
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Design Inspiration: 13 Romantic Bedrooms (PHOTOS)

We're dreaming of... a Valentine's night spent in one of these luxurious bedrooms! With the big day right around the corner, we couldn't help but look for bedrooms that will put you in a Valentine's state of mind. From dark and glamorous to comfortable and relaxed, these thirteen rooms are sure to appeal to any style. So flip through the slideshow below, let your mind wander and get inspired to complete your own romantic makeover.

Insulating Your Home by Dressing Your Windows With Blinds

Expert Author Matthew FordeWhen winter comes, or simply colder temperatures, one thing many people forget is how the construction and decoration in your home can affect how much of the heat escapes your home. No house is insulated completely, and there's always going to be a certain amount of heat escaping. Doors and windows are prime locations where hot air can escape allowing the cold in, and in the case of windows, there's things you can do to help out. Insulating your home by dressing your windows is a good way to keep the interior warmer, whilst lowering your heating bills in the process.

Most windows have a single glass, and that's just not enough to keep all the cold air outside. Condensation happens along the sides, and the heat is sucked out. Then, if you don't have anything else to help insulate it, then cold air invades your whole home, forcing you to turn up the heat. One solution would be to double glaze the whole house. A feature which most new builds will include anyway. This works by trapping air between two panes of glass which acts as a very poor conductor thus slowing the heat from its escape.

Instead, dressing the window in a fashionable and functional way can really help insulate the home. For example, blinds can be a good start for this. There are many types of blind, made of various materials, each with their own inherent properties that will insulate your home differently depending on how they are used.

One type many people use is wooden venetian blinds. These are great because wood is a natural insulator, which gives a big help to your windows and house insulation. The real benefit is created by the fact that venetian blinds can be left down all the time and then tilted to allow light in so that some benefit is always there. Any type of wooden covering will help in a similar manner such as shutters or wooden vertical blinds.
Another option is using blackout roller blinds, something you find in more homes lately. The fabric used is generally made from a 3 pass fabric, where a base fabric is effectively painted twice, once black and then again with the colour desired. This extra weight gives the fabric excellent insulating properties and retains heat more effectively. The limitation is that when the blind is up there is very little benefit as the blind is completely out of the way. Next there are roman blinds which can be made with interlining between the face fabric and the lining. This then offers a very luxurious feel and brilliant insulating properties. This will stop the heat conduction and also help your home keep warm.

Hunter Douglas Blinds
The way these blinds are installed also affect how much money you'll save on heating bills. Having flush blinds help a lot, because by being flush against the window, you eliminate an extra space where air could sip in. Stats from the leading manufacturers have shown that blinds can help save up to 10-15% on heat loss, which adds up very quickly paying for the blinds themselves.

Overall, insulating your home by dressing your windows is something that really works whilst adding to the aesthetics of your home at the same time. Some blinds will add more of a benefit than others so it is important to choose your blinds carefully not only considering their aesthetic appeal or the price they are being sold for but also the insulating benefit they can create. A better quality blind can pay for itself over time so buying quality products over less expensive ones becomes a better option that are likely to last longer as well.

About this Author

Matthew Forde writes on behalf of Order Blinds Online an online UK based shop offering all styles of blinds as well as design tips, useful hints, tips and how to guides in order to help consumers choose the correct window dressings and extend the life of their current blinds.
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248 Tropical Kitchen Design Photos

Sometimes referred to as the heart of the home, the kitchen is a place to prepare and cook food and, depending on the size, can be used to eat and entertain guests. In Ancient Greek homes, this room was a central open air patio but it was not until around 1800 that the stove, which enclosed fire completely, made cooking indoors possible. As technology advances, so do kitchens' design and efficiency. The introduction of the kitchen island has lent more flexibility to the positioning of the kitchen cabinets and kitchen sink, and helped make open plan kitchens and dining rooms a reality.
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Hale Aina By The Sea tropical kitchen
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Easy Tips To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

The Different Types of Home Shutters

Graber™ Traditions™ Shutters
Since most shutters are customizable, just about any size, weight, and dimension is available on the market. Those that are standard sized will fit the windows on a typical home, but individuals living in homes with asymmetrical windows may have trouble finding a set of shutters they can purchase instantaneously.

Fortunately, this is a very minor issue because most manufacturers will design a variety of builds. As long as the customer provides accurate dimensions, they will have no problem receiving customized or made-to-order home shutters.

Various styles exist for the interior and exterior of the home. Contemporary designs are nothing more than decorative panels, but some exterior shutters do exist for storm protection and security. Interior shutters serve as decorative pieces as well, but their functionality, versatility, and durability makes them totally different from their exterior counterparts.

Exterior shutters are available in three main styles: Board and Batten, Louvered, and Raised or Flat Panel. These shutters sit against the house and remain open even though some of them may have hinges. Homeowners looking for durable panels that can withstand extreme weather conditions should choose wood shutters or composite shutters. Vinyl and faux wood shutters are available for individuals who may either live in stable climates or are looking for a lower cost option.

Interior shutters come in wood, faux, composite, and vinyl as well. Their styles however are much different from exterior shutters. Some popular shutter types are Plantation Shutters, Hurricane Shutters, Accordion Shutters, and Cafe Shutters. The louvers on these panels come in a variety of sizes, and the panels themselves come in any size the customer desires. Panels mount on the windows with hinges, and a small latch or magnet keeps the doors shut tightly so they will not swing open unexpectedly.

This is just a short list of the standard shutter types one should expect to see at any manufacturer. Every manufacturer may not carry every style because it may not be popular in their town or region. This is why it is a good idea to shop for shutters online and have them shipped to your home or to the store of your choice. This will expand your options by exposing you to the many varieties of shutters on the market.
There are a wide variety of shutters on the market, and just a little searching is all it takes to find the right shutters for you home.

About this Author

Purchasing home shutters online has never been easier. Visit today to learn more about your home shutter options.

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A Modern Kitchen with a Colorful Twist

Designers Carey Maloney and Hermes Mallea created a vibrant kitchen in a New York townhouse. Whether it's the brass pot rack, the green cabinets, or the burgundy stove, browse through the pictures and photos for ideas for color schemes. For more details read the complete interview with the designers.


Using Blinds to Dress Up Your Home

Expert Author Carl LiverLet's face it, everyone wants a home that feels comfortable and warm. We all want a place that puts our best foot forward. A place that shows off our personal style and invites our friends and family in with open arms. Of course, having an interior decorator come in and design your dream home is something that is out of reach for most of us, however, there are things that you can do without spending a fortune that can really dress up your rooms and make them look and feel more homey. One of the quickest way to change to look of a room is by changing the window dressings, especially if you still have curtains hanging, and replace them with blinds.

This change can really create a different look and feel of a room. Roman blinds are available online and through retail locations and they can really improve the look and feel of just about any room. One of the biggest benefits of hanging Roman blinds are the way in which they fold over themselves creating almost an art like appearance as they hang over windows. And now if you don't like the cords then you can choose one of the many cordless options that are available and the colour selection will surely wow you.

Roller blinds can also be used to enhance the look of a room and these are incredible when used in a really bright room because you can set them to cover the entire window or only a portion of the window depending on the glare of the sun at any particular time of the day. These blinds are a very affordable window dressing option and can really help to update an outdated room.

Roller blinds and Roman blinds are two different window treatment options that can be used to dress up any area of your home. From the bedroom to the living room, you will find that these window treatment options are easy to install and affordable. When you order them online you can usually have them delivered directly to your home and can have them hanging that day.

There is no need to keep hanging those outdated curtains up any longer. Blinds are an efficient way to create a new look in any and all rooms of your home. Even an interior decorator will tell you that by updating the look of your windows and adding a few new accessories you can do over any space in your home for a very small investment. During the winter months it is especially important to make sure that your surroundings make you feel comfortable and happy. Updating a room or your entire home can do just that.

Carl Liver
For information and prices on Roman Blinds or Roller Blinds, visit us! We have some great offers.
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Are Plantation Shutters the Right Choice for Your Windows?

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