6 articles Tag windows

Dress up Your Outdoor Windows for Summer

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

As we move into the warmer weather, you may want to give your home a fresh look to reflect the change of season. Not only can you make interior décor changes to fit the summer vibe, but the exterior of your home deserves some TLC too.

Do you ever walk past a lovely-looking house and admire decorative features in the driveway, beautiful windows, or a brightly painted door? First impressions are everything, and what your home looks like from the outside can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal.

With so many styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, so take it one step at a time, and begin with your windows.

Here are four ideas to dress up your outdoor windows for summer, using the classic English House for style inspiration.

Select Your Window Type

Don’t underestimate the power of your window frames as they make all the difference when preparing your home to “pop” from the outside. Sash windows are the perfect choice to achieve the English House look as the “sashes” form a frame to hold the panels of glass. They’re an elegant and timeless way to finish off a period-inspired home.

You can choose between uPVC Sash Windows or Timber Windows, each of which offers you a range of styles and configurations. From dual swing to tilt and slide to casement and sliding sash, you’ll be sure to find the right option to suit your home. For a classic English House style, a timber window with the sliding sash style would be ideal.

You can also choose any colour for timber windows if you treat the frames with several coatings of specialised paint. White window frames offer a classic English House style and look great against bricks or stone. View sash window inspiration here.

Add Window Flower Boxes

When properly arranged and placed, window boxes are a wonderful addition to your home’s exterior to add some colour and to make heads turn.

The best window boxes compliment the style of a house, so make sure that the size is correct (not too wide) and that the depth gives your flowers enough room to grow, without blocking the window’s view.

Pick your favourite summer flowers and you can look at them with pride every time you return home. View window flower box inspiration here.

Install Decorative Exterior Shutters

Typically, window shutters are used on the inside of the window frame to control the amount of light that comes through. However, you’ve likely seen them on the outside of people’s homes and wondered do people actually open and close them? Although window shutters were originally designed for privacy and security, they are now more commonly used for decoration and style.

Exterior window shutters add character and charm to your home’s appearance and require little in the way of maintenance. View exterior shutter inspiration here.

Consider Window Awnings

Window awnings are another great addition for aesthetic purposes as the overhang above the window adds an extra dimension to your home’s exterior. With so many, colours, patterns and designs available, it’s easy to choose an awning that will match the style and décor you are trying to create. View window awning inspiration here.

Awnings also prevent the sun from shining in through the windows and protect the window from above.

Not only are these window additions great for curb appeal and your own enjoyment, but they can also translate into a higher resale value of your home — in case you ever decide to move.

Now take a step back and admire your Pinterest worthy outdoor windows you’ll be amazed at how much they doll up the exterior of your home!

Ceiling Mounted Blinds: What You Need to Know

Ceiling Mounted Blinds: What You Need to Know

Window treatments can generally be mounted in a variety of ways. Typically, blinds are mounted either inside the window area if it has any depth to it, or on the wall just above the window pane. In some cases, you might want to mount the blinds on the ceiling above the window.

Here’s some tips from selectblindscanada.ca that you need to know when mounting your blinds on the ceiling.

Brackets

Every type of window treatment will come with brackets, which are essentially sturdy metal pieces with a variety of holes in them. The distribution of these holes will allow the blinds to be secured from different angles around the window.

If you’re going to be mounting blinds from the ceiling, make sure the brackets are designed in such a way as to allow this. Fortunately, most blind and shade brackets are universal, meaning they can be used for a variety of mounts, including a ceiling mount.

Note that Roman shade brackets are a bit different but will usually have holes at the top for ceiling mounts.

Where would you need ceiling mounted blinds?

Ceiling mounts are uncommon for window treatments, but there are certain situations that will call for them. For example:

The window is too shallow and there’s no space on the wall

In this case, you wouldn’t be able to secure the blinds inside the window or just above it on the wall. Your only option would be a ceiling mount.

On a patio with no pillars on the sides

If you’ve got a covered patio and you need blinds for privacy and sunlight management, your options for mounts will be limited by the structure. In some cases, you’ll have to affix the blinds directly to the ceiling of the patio’s roof if there are no secure pillars around.

Covering large or multiple windows

If you need to cover a large window or several windows with one shade, a ceiling mount can be a better option. If it’s properly secured, it can be great-looking solution in this case.

How to secure ceiling mounted blinds

When installing ceiling mounted blinds, make sure you are mounting the blinds into rafter beams, studs or joists. If this isn’t possible, you can use drywall anchors to secure the mount, but check their specifications to make sure they can support the weight of the blinds.

If the ceiling is shared with an attic floor, you can always add extra support like a beam or joist in the attic to secure the blind mount.

If you secure the ceiling mount well, it should result in a sturdy installation. As we’ve said, this type of mount can actually work better for large windows.

Trust the experts

Mounting blinds in your home shouldn’t be a headache. Ceiling mounted blinds are a great solution if installed properly. If you’ve got unusual windows or outdoor areas that need different mounts than the conventional ones, do your research online to find the best solution.

Creating Space Without Extending Your House

I’ve written many a blog post in the past about how to create space n your house, but when you live in a rental property, extending your property just isn’t an option. As much as I’d love a conservatory or big extension, it’s simply not on the cards and even for people who own their house, adding bits on it’s always possible because of planning permission, lack of space or just not enough funds. I thought I’d share a few ideas with you for creating a sense of space in a house without needing add an extra wing!

Smaller Furniture

Going out and replacing your furniture obviously isn’t always the most economical way to live, but taking a critical look at your furniture and deciding whether it really fits the space is a good place to start. Overstuffed couches are super comfy, but if they fill a room and make it feel claustrophobic, they might not be the best choice for you. Instead of taking a look at you own furniture you could also take a critical look at the way you’re using the space.

Roof Windows

Adding windows to a room is a really great way to give an illusion of space because it floods the space with light and draw the eye upwards to the sky, rather than into dark corners in a tight space. The brand Solstro has summed up the most important roofwindows benefits; which I couldn’t agree with more. Roofwindows are a great addition to a room if you’re able use them and will cost a fraction of what you’d pay for an extension.

Mirrors

It sounds like such a cliche, something that Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen would have said in an early 90’s episode of Changing Rooms, but mirrors really do give the illusion of space, purely because they reflect the space which already exists and makes it look twice as big. The dining room in our house is the smallest room, but we have a large mirror at one end and it really helps the space to feel less poky.

Lighter, Simpler

Dark colours and intricate patterns are the quickest way to make a space feel closed in and overwhelming. Scaling back your patterns to something smaller and simpler, as well as opting for lighter colours, will open a space up and make it feel less closed-in. That doesn’t mean that your room has to be boring; there are some beautiful wallpapers out there which are both patterned and light in colour which can make any space look elegant and well-finished.

Do you have small spaces in your house which you’ve managed to open up without extending? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about it.

How to Get Extra Space at Home

Renting your home means that it can be quite tricky to find ways to gain extra space in your home. As much as we’d love to start adding extensions into our current property, I’m not sure that our landlady would be on board with that, so it means we would have to be a little more creative to find added space. Obviously, in an ideal world, we’d love to just create a loft extension with a roof-light window and some VELUX blinds to use as a master suite with a bedroom and grown-up bathroom, but alas, it’s not an option! Here are some other ideas of how to get space without moving or starting major renovations:

Summer House

Wooden summer houses are a great way to add space if you have room in your garden. They can be decorated and fitted out to look really quite swanky, and can even be fitted with electricity, which would allow you to add lightling and potentially even an office space if you work from home. Someone I know has created a whole home spa area in a large summer house with a hot tub and bar!

Raised Bed

It used to be only kids who slept in bunkbeds, but lots of the major furniture retailers also now sell double beds which are raised around 6ft off of the ground and accessible via ladder. Although this doesn’t technically add space, per se, it allows you to reclaim a few square meters which would usually be taken up by the bed. You could add a seating area underneath, or even a wardrobe!

Wasted Space

Under-Stair-Storage-For-Coats

Often, if you look around a home, you’ll see lots of areas which are actually wasted space. For instance, while many of us will have a cupboard under the stairs, there’s actually tons of space under the whole staircase, which a good carpenter can often turn into a really useful storage solution with pull-out drawers. Another place is under the bath – a sliding bath panel can give you a place to hide away all of the toiletries which don’t get used everyday, allowing you to really conceal your clutter.

Multifunctional furniture

Because space is at a premium here in the UK, people seem to be getting used to living in smaller properties, which requires you to be inventive about your belongings. This has given rise to a lot of clever companies making furniture which is multifunctional or can be folded away when not in use. Think about how much room you could save if your dining table folded up to the size of a suitcase?!

Go Outdoors!

Often, people don’t utilise their outdoor spaces to their fullest. Live in a flat but want a garden? How about some window boxes to grow your kitchen garden! There are so many clever solutions for outdoor spaces and you might find that bringing your garden/balcony/windowsill into your plan for living can really help you to feel like you aren’t completely boxed in.

extra space at home

Irresistible Shop Windows. How do they Do That?

3223433918_a4dbc0af4b_bSource – Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/herry/3223433918/in/photolist-5UQWAS-5ULyDk-5ULxeZ-5UQXhs-6sMYG5 License – CC BY 2.0

The importance of effective visual merchandising is never underestimated in the fashion retail shop business. Window shoppers love to be captivated by shop window displays – including entertaining store -front set-ups – because of the creative genius that lies behind these creations, and of course it is a job that requires artistic skills, an eye for fashion and a passion for the job overall.

For those passionate about fashion and desirous to learn about interior decor/design, visual merchandising courses are held in London as well as in other major fashion cities around the world. In fact, professional visual merchandisers need different qualities and use different techniques. And that is exactly what these courses can teach.

Having a good sense of aesthetics and organizational layout, and knowing how to utilize store space (both inside and outside) effectively are only some of the requirements needed to become an expert visual merchandiser. The visual aspect also considers the use of effective means of communication to orientate potential customers via visual signals (advertising posters, dress mannequins, and other important tools such as the use of colour in the decor which is all important) so that they can easily find their way around the store and discover as much as possible that the retailer can provide for their tastes. In short, the strategic positioning of the displays must be pleasing to the eye and eye-catching at every location, from the store front to the interior.

Other vital techniques taught by courses focus on the merchandising aspect: these include learning the distinction between the demands of the commercial versus the luxury markets, and acquiring the experience to design diverse and demographically-targeted, distinct genres to satisfy different audiences.

Understanding the essentials of product grouping is an important point. This includes knowing where to position the products around the store in relation to the space assignment to be allotted according to sales objectives. The various levels of display, from vertical to horizontal shelves and equipment, use of walls and floor space must also be applied to the strategic use of a harmonizing element to enhance the ambient and customer experience – Feng Shui-oriented decor is a perfect example of this practice.

Furthermore, the synergistic bond between ‘offshore’ and ‘online’ store options is a primary consideration in order to make the most out of customer satisfaction and sales objectives for retailers. Customer relations are necessarily tied to customer loyalty and this means that you must know how to deal with clients first-hand. In this respect, after-sales experience is naturally another prerequisite in customer relations. Visual merchandising courses teach excellent guidelines to learn about consumer behaviour which is of course one of the main foundations that will ensure customer loyalty and enduring satisfaction that will lead to growing a solid loyal customer base. Do not forget also that a perfect balance is needed in the layout, use of space, decor, colour and product placement/grouping. Too much or too little makes all the difference, so cluttering the store may not be an advantage. Rather, leaving it simple and providing ample space for the customers to walk around will certainly prove to be a more successful methodology.

Kärcher Window Vac – Review and Giveaway

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Sometimes I get sent products to review that I’m genuinely excited about trying out and the Kärcher Window Vac is one of them. If you’ve not seen the adverts you’re not watching telly right, the vac is basically like the squeegee thing that you see a professional window cleaner using, except it actually sucks the water up as the blade moves over the glass.

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