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Design Blog - Page 5 of 9 - Welcome to Colorado Blinds & Design, the leading source for window coverings in Loveland, Fort Collins, Denver and Boulder! :: Welcome to Colorado Blinds & Design, the leading source for window coverings in Loveland, Fort Collins, Denver and Boulder! :: We serve the entire Front Range of Colorado, as well as the Western Slope and Southern Wyoming.

Sustainable Design

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What is it?

Sustainability encompasses a wide variety of practices and is essentially the same concept as “being green.” It includes recycling, and using recycled products as well as using renewable resources for products. Today the sustainability mindset exists in many industries and has become a major trend in the Interior Design world.

Sustainable Homes

Recently many homes have been incorporating sustainability into their designs. This can be achieved in many different ways.

http://www.houzz.com/photos/123683/Modern-Exterior-modern-exterior-seattle

The one way that most people immediately think of to make their home “green” is by installing solar panels. This can greatly decrease energy costs in the home, especially here in sunny Colorado.

Solar panels have become more aesthetically pleasing, but they do have a certain “look” that not all people enjoy. In Colorado, where the majority of roofs are pitched, it would be unavoidable to have the panels seen. This makes it essential to include them in the design planning of the home instead of adding them as an afterthought.

The only other possible negative of solar panels is the initial cost of installation. While this cost will be made up in following years, it can be a deterrent in the decision to install.

 

Green Materials

http://www.houzz.com/photos/86837/natural-haven-modern-bathroom-dc-metro

This bathroom makes use of a technique that is not only sustainable, but it is also beautiful and cost effective.

The counter top is made of cement with pieces of glass mixed in. The product is then polished to create a beautiful and unique finish. Many times products such as this incorporate recycled glass from bottles or even broken windshields. This product is considered to be one of the most sustainable on the market.

The floor in this image uses a similar technique by using cement mixed with pebbles which can be much more cost effective than using other specialty flooring.

The wood used on the cabinets under the sink is another sustainable material that not many people consider. These cabinets are made of bamboo. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource because bamboo plants reach maturity in 2-4 years as opposed to some hardwoods that can take decades. Bamboo can be stained a variety of colors and can be used on floors as well as cabinets.

 

Sustainable Products

Hunter Douglas window coverings are a great way to add an element of sustainability to any home. Specifically Hunter Douglas focuses on insulation, solar heat control, and daylighting so that electricity does not have to be used during the day when the shades are down.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=53

 

The most energy conservative product that Hunter Douglas has to offer are the Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades. The cell within a cell construction forms three air pockets which makes it the best window covering for saving on heating and cooling costs.

 

 

 

Hunter Douglas offers many other products that are top performers for insulation, solar heat control, or daylighting. These include the Silhouette ®, Luminette ®, and Vignette ® which offer a different look than a typical honeycomb shade. While they do not have the extreme benefits of the Duette ® Architella ®, they are still an option in making a home more sustainable.

These Hunter Douglas window coverings and many more can be found in our showroom and we would be glad to help you make your home more sustainable.

By: Sandra Fontani

Skylight Shades

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At Colorado Blinds & Design, we receive a fair amount of inquiries about covering skylights. Sure, skylights can open your space up to beautiful views IF your home is correctly orientated to the sun. If your home has east or west facing skylights, then you know how uncomfortable you can be in a space that is filled with intense sun and heat.

Hunter Douglas’s Simplicity™ skylight system, available on Duette® and Applause® honeycomb shades, is a manual lifting system ideal for skylights.

Basically, a rectangular honeycomb shade is installed into a frame that holds the shade into place. The system allows the user to operate the shade like a regular cordless shade. The honeycomb design blocks 99% of harmful rays while reducing heat loss and gain through the window.

Call or stop by with any questions you have regarding skylight shades!

10 Tips for Painting

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Check out these tried and true painting tips and tricks to make your life easier!

1. It’s human nature to paint our walls. Cave paintings in Europe and Southwest Asia date back 32,000 years. Fast-forward a few thousand years, and you have the gorgeously frescoed walls of Pompeii. Now, a few thousand years later, we’re obsessed with color on our walls.

2. All paints are not created equal. Don’t buy the cheapest paint you can find. A higher price point means the paint is more likely to leave your brush smoothly and evenly, requiring fewer coats. And higher-quality paint will stand up to stains, scuff marks and scouring for years to come.

3. Most paints come in a spectrum of finishes from matte to glossy, and while glossy is more robust, it’s also far less forgiving. It reflects light instead of absorbing it, highlighting the imperfections in both your paint job and your wall. But consider using a glossy finish on trim for a practical touch of glam, says Kristi Dinner of company kd in Denver. Eggshell—forgiving and durable—is a happy medium for most surfaces.

4. When it comes to color, “Be fearless,” says Dinner. Find a color that you love and paint it in an unexpected place; try a bold color on the ceiling of an enclosed space or on the back wall of a bookcase for a 3-D effect that is oh-so-21st-century chic.

5. Ask for help. Paint aisles with trillions of two-inch color squares can be overwhelming, so here’s a trade secret: hire a color consultant, a pro who knows what color goes where and why and how.

6. A paint job is only as good as the prep job, so take the time to scrutinize your walls; make sure cracks are filled, holes are puttied and texture is consistent. If you’re covering a dark color with a lighter one, tint the primer with the finishing color. It will reduce the number of coats you need.

7. No matter who paints your walls, every home should have a few basic supplies for the inevitable touch-up. Buy an all-purpose synthetic sash-angled brush; Purdy makes some of the industry’s best. For bigger jobs, invest in a lamb’s wool roller—it won’t spatter your paint, as the cheaper ones tend to do.

8. Everybody’s talking about Benjamin Moore’s earth-friendly paint Aura. Think high-performance paint in brilliant colors with low volatile organic compounds—those nasty gases emitted by the chemicals in some household products.

9. When it comes to storing your paint, use an airtight container and put it in a cool, dry place, where it will last for years, says Carl Minchew, head of Benjamin Moore’s product development. Label the paint with specifics such as where you used it and when. (You can thank us later.) When it’s all used up? Recycle your empty paint cans, so long as they’re dry.

10. Paint coats our lives. Everywhere you look, you’ll find something cloaked in some form of paint. The idea that such a thin film can protect, interest or even wow us—well, that makes paint the chicest coat of all.

Source: http://www.coloradohomesmag.com/article/10-things-you-should-know-about-paint

10 Tips for Caring for Your Furnishings

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Check out these helpful tips for keeping your furniture looking brand new and flawless for generations to come.

1. Buy the best. The easiest way to make furniture last longer is to buy the highest quality you can afford. “Pieces made of solid wood with screwed and glued construction from manufacturers with a good reputation are going to be heritage pieces,” says Brent Simon, owner of Colorado Style Home Furnishings.

2. True grit. “Think of dust as very fine sandpaper; it can ruin your finish,” says Mike Ackerman, owner of Ackerman and Sons Furniture Workshop. Dust furnishings frequently with a barely damp cotton cloth such as an old T-shirt.

3. Keepin’ it clean. The dust that can hurt your wood finish isn’t doing any favors for your upholstery either. “Vacuum your furniture every time you vacuum the rest of the room,” says Ackerman.

4. Good oils. Once in a while your furniture’s wood needs a good oiling. Kate Sultan, co-owner of Modern Bungalow, recommends a light lemon or orange oil. Just apply liberally with a soft cloth, let it set for a few hours and then wipe away any excess. Avoid polishes with silicone; Ackerman recommends Guardsman Furniture Polish.

5. Moisturize. “If your lips feel dry, your furniture probably feels dry too,” says Simon. In Colorado’s low humidity, furniture can easily dry out to the point of cracking. The solution? Add a humidifier to your heating and cooling system or put a small humidifier in the room.

6. Made in the shade. Sunlight can fade fabrics and darken woods, says Simon. Keep pieces out of direct daylight if possible, and draw draperies as often as practical. Reorganize accessories frequently to avoid fade spots. Flip and rotate cushions to distribute wear and tear. Even rearrange the room periodically to even out your furniture’s exposure to light.

7. Thrills and spills. If you spill something on your upholstery, blot it up immediately; don’t let it set and don’t rub it in. And then have it professionally cleaned.

8. Age-defying skin. “Leather is skin,” says Sultan, “and just like your skin it needs moisturizing.” Every month or two you should condition leather with something like Liberon Leather Cream or Leather Tech Conditioner.

9. Ease joint pain. When furniture falls apart, it happens at the joints, Ackerman says. Can’t you just hear your grandmother telling you not to lean back in her dining room chairs? Well, don’t push furniture across the floor, either; lift it to move it. If a chair or table develops a wobbly leg or arm, have it professionally repaired right away. It’s less expensive to fix a wobble than to rebuild a break.

10. Too hot to handle. If a bowl or pot is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your wood. “Hot pots create burn rings,” says Sultan. Use a trivet or let the bowl cool down.

Source: http://www.coloradohomesmag.com/article/10-things-you-should-know-6

Interior Design Trend-Geometric Patterns

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This summer’s hottest new fashion trend is (drum roll please)…..geometric prints! It seems that you cannot escape this fun, fearless fashion trend, but then again, why would you want to?!

These power patterns were all the rage on the runway this Spring. Now that Summer is upon us, the interior design industry is playing catch-up and incorporating the concept into everything-pillows, draperies and even furniture!

Take a look at some of our favorite applications (and tips!) for this bold and fresh trend.

 

 

Go big or go home! Reupholster an entire chair in a geometric print and make the piece the emphasis of your space. The great thing about geometric patterns is that they are relatively timeless, so you won’t have to reupholster in a few years time. Geometric prints are reminiscent of Greek and Islamic cultures; these designs will never go “out.” Afraid you might make too much of a statement with a bold print? Choose one with a muted or neutral color.

 

 

 

Small accessories, like pillows or even lampshades, can incorporate this trend in a subtle, yet classy way. Don’t be afraid to use brighter colored prints in these applications.

 

 

 

 

Benches are a fun and cute way to incorporate this trend. They are waaay easier to reupholster than a chair and can easily be done at home with a staple gun and a few yards of fabric.

 

Congrats, Tom!!

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Colorado Blinds & Design is pleased to announce that Tom Magara, owner and installation manager, has completed the Master Installer course with Hunter Douglas®!

Specialty Shapes

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Applause Specialty Shapes

Check out this specialty shaped Hunter Douglas® Applause shade that we just did for one of our favorite clients! They had a bare east facing window in their bathroom, and the intense sun made it feel like a greenhouse! We installed this operable specialty shape for them and instantly cut out 99% of UV rays and 40% of the heat. They couldn’t be more thrilled with the result.

If you are in need of a specialty shade, give us a call to come take a look at it and discuss options with you. As always, it is FREE for us to come out, so give us a call and schedule your appointment today!

Things to Consider When Buying Window Coverings

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At Colorado Blinds & Design, we understand that the process of choosing window coverings can be overwhelming and frustrating at times. Our trained window covering specialists and interior designers can assist you in the process by helping you prioritize your needs and wants. In the mean time, check out the factors to consider when choosing what window coverings are right for you.

  • Room Type
  • Personal Style/Aesthetic
  • Shade Material and Color
  • Specialty Shapes (if any)
  • Privacy and Light Control
  • Window’s orientation to the sun
  • Views and desired view-through
  • Operating Systems
  • Price
Call or stop in today to talk to one of our expert staff members about these considerations. As always, our in-home estimates are free, so schedule yours today!

Hunter Douglas® Duette PowerRise™

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Check out another hilarious video from Hunter Douglas®. This one features Duette with PowerRise™ feature. Stop by to see our sample in the showroom today! In the mean time, enjoy this clip…

 

Certified Window Covering Experts!

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Colorado Blinds & Design is pleased to announce that four of our staff members have completed the Hunter Douglas™ Professional Dealer Program! The Hunter Douglas™ Professional Dealer Program was created to give dealers, designers and installers the opportunity to become exceptional CERTIFIED leaders in the window covering industry.

The knowledge that our employees gained from this comprehensive program ultimately helps us to assist clients in their decision making process. Budget, consumer personalities, and product characteristics are only some of the factors in helping clients find the product that is perfect for their needs. The program is comprised of numerous online classes with comprehensive tests at the end.

Jeanine and Carol’s certifications have proven a useful asset to them while assisting clients in the showroom. Gary and Allyson utilize their training on their in-home estimates.

 

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