{window treatment wednesday: treatments paired with shutters}

Pair window drapes and shutters for a unique window treatment.

I saw this quote from Minnesota’s Charles Schulz and it made me chuckle: “Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.”

In all seriousness, though, we tend to have goals or visions in mind when we’re decorating our homes. Perhaps we want spaces in our home to be beautiful, impressive, warm, comforting, sophisticated, or playful. The space you’re putting together includes the windows and window treatments, which can influence a room’s atmosphere.

In some spaces, there are plantation shutters in place, but homeowners want to add another element to the window. Hirshfield’s window coverings expert Shannon Scarrella says that usually shutters are paired with drapes to add an aesthetic touch. “Shutters are for function—they control light, sun and privacy. Drapes, typically stationary side panels, add softness to a room or provide a decorative element.”

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{window treatment wednesday: meet the Hirshfield’s experts}

Designer spotlight on Becky Eggers.

Hirshfield's window treatment expert Becky Eggers

Becky Eggers is a Hirshfield’s window treatment expert.

I’m in awe of people who have a natural eye for design. You know the type—they can walk into a house and know exactly what colors would look perfect here, what accessories would add just the right pop there, how to reuse an item from one room to pull a look together elsewhere in the home. It’s amazing!

Hirshfield’s Becky Eggers has both a natural eye for design plus years of expertise, starting with a degree in textile and design. She’s been with Hirshfield’s for more than 30 years, working in sales and design resource, in addition to planning and managing two of Hirshfield’s décor departments. You can find Becky at Hirshfield’s Design Resource Showroom where she runs the designer program for Window Fashions. Becky works with designers and their clients in the selection of window treatments; having Hunter Douglas products is a great addition to the product offerings at the design showroom.

Her area of expertise is hard window treatments. “I always ask our customers about what’s important to them regarding their window treatment selection,” says Eggers. “What’s important—function or aesthetics? Do they need room darkening, privacy, options that block UV rays, or something that provides a design detail? Maybe it’s a combination of both design and function.”

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{window treatment wednesday: celebrity style}

Window Shades of the Stars

When we’re thinking of redecorating, remodeling or changing something in our home, sometimes we need a little inspiration. At times that comes from magazines, home remodeling shows, our favorite furniture store, or online—maybe even stargazing at celebrities’ homes via photos on the Internet.

Here are some celebrities’ former homes and lessons we can take from their window treatments. Shannon Scarrella, a Minneapolis window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s, has some insight to share about these stars’ windows.

#2 Katy Perry. Scarrella liked that the window treatment was darker than the walls and added some drama to the room, but thought the drapery rod should have been either extended or made shorter to line up with the window. Read the rest of this entry »

{decorating with pink and red}

Valentine’s Day Inspired Rooms

Valentine’s Day is coming near, and ‘tis the season to see red, pink and white wherever you turn. Yes, it can be too much when your local gift store has overdone it. But it can be fun to decorate at home with red and pink, whether it’s a temporary use of the colors in honor of the holiday or a color scheme you enjoy year-round.

Red
Personally, I love pops of red. The main living space in my home has accent colors of claret—mostly in an area rug, comfy throw and accent pillows. Red can warm up a space and add visual interest. However, you want to be careful when incorporating intense hues, especially reds. You don’t want to go overboard and end up with a space that feels intense or angry; you want reds that add positively to the vibe of a space. Depending on the tone and hue of the red you like, that might translate into an atmosphere that is energetic and has pizzazz, feels luxurious and elegant or seems rustic and comfortable. Since Hirshfield’s has paint in thousands of colors—more than 5,000 possibilities—you can acquire a paint sample to take home and try out before you commit to a color.

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{home design trends: outdoor kitchen}

Decorating Your Outdoor Kitchen

Bobby Flay outdoor dining

Outdoor dining at Bobby Flay’s Hampton home

It’s cold outside now, but this weather won’t last forever. Before we know it, spring will be here, and then glorious summer—the reason we endure these single-digit days. While you’re snuggling down and stuck indoors, it’s the perfect time to start brainstorming ideas for your home. Don’t forget the outdoor spaces, too, including outdoor cooking and dining areas.

Summertime is when we want to be outdoors as much as possible. One way to encourage your family to be outdoors more is by spending time now thinking about your outdoor kitchen and how you can make it more comfortable and appealing. Here is some food for thought.

Consistent Style. When you’re decorating your outdoor kitchen, you want it to flow with the style of your home. If you have a traditional home, you may want your outdoor kitchen to feature a stone fireplace, brick oven, wood components or other traditional materials. If your home is contemporary, sleek lines, stainless steel and simplicity may shine. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: warm up your home with window coverings}

Window Treatment Wednesday: Warm Up Your Home with Window Coverings off-center window treatments

It’s the time of year when snow boots, hats and mittens get put back into the outerwear rotation. Some mornings you might have to warm up your car before driving. Daylight hours are fewer and the house is chilly in the morning. Is there a way to help your house stay warmer—can Minneapolis window coverings help?

According to Hirshfield’s expert Scott Anderson, window treatments can make a big difference in keeping your house warm. “Windows are the weakest link on your outside walls,” Scott says. “They’re where the warm air goes to escape and the cold air tries to get in. Any window treatment will slow down that exchange, and some are much better at it than others. The slower the rate, the more heat you’ll retain in your home.”

Scott says that the best insulators are Honeycomb Shades. They’re versatile and efficient—the air pockets they create keep the sun’s hot rays out in summer and insulate the window in winter. Hirshfield’s carries a number of styles from various manufacturers.

If you love your current window treatments, there are accessories you can add that will help them trap in warmth.

“One accessory that can be ordered with Hunter Douglas Honeycomb Shades is called the Literise Trimkit,” says Scott. “It’s a pair of tracks that mount on either side of a window frame—for an inside mount. The moving rail of the shade actually travels inside the track to create a very snug seal. When combined with the Hunter Douglas Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades, it creates a strong enough barrier that the federal government has ruled it eligible for a federal tax credit until the end of 2013.” More details on the tax credit can be found at www.hunterdouglas.com/tax-credit.

As you look at your windows and their coverings, make sure that your windows are locked shut. If they aren’t latched properly, they aren’t completely interlocked to keep out the cold. If they’re locked but you can still feel a draft, you may want to consider using an insulator kit. That’s where you apply a plastic film and use a blow dryer to shrink it for a tight seal. Also make sure your window is adequately caulked around its frame.

When you live in Minnesota, your window coverings can make a big difference in the efficiency of your home. It’s a good thing to consider, especially when the cold weather hits.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{friday finds: color combinations for fall}

Decorating with fall colors.

The fall season evokes memories of burnt orange and warm browns that welcome us into the months of pumpkin pie, crisp days, and falling leaves. These fall favorites can be translated into color schemes that are fashionable year-round!

Fall Inspired Color Combinations

Color splash. Shades of orange and yellow make for wonderful room accents. Use muted fabrics to let the bold colors stand out.

Stone brown. Benjamin Moore describes their Stone Brown (2112-30) as comfortable as a favorite pair of stone-washed khakis, this warm brown adds an air of cozy warmth to any space. 

Dark yellow. This typically spring color takes on a fall flavor when it comes in a darkened hue. Match it with a rich gold and cream to add depth.

Forest green. A forest green is a bit more muted, boding well with chocolate brown. This look can come across as heavy, so partner with white to lighten it up.

Fall color schemes.

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{customize your furniture}

Create your custom-crafted Vanguard Furniture at Hirshfield’s.

Vanguard Furniture available from the Hirshfield’s Design Resource gives you the opportunity to truly transform your home. Vanguard Furniture’s artisans hand-apply all finishes in the USA; taking careful steps to make sure that each piece has the care and attention that is required to enhance the natural character of your furniture. No two pieces are the same – every piece of furniture is truly unique.

Make any Vanguard upholstery or case piece identified with a paintbrush icon uniquely yours. Simply select your wall paint. Then choose from three distress levels and complementary sheen choices. There is even a base stain choice! Vanguard will paint your piece to that exact color specification, distress level, sheen choice and base stain selection – it’s that simple. There are hundreds of colors to choose from, and now Vanguard and Hirshfield’s can make any of them YOURS. The possibilities are endless. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: how to photograph a before and after room}

It’s not as easy as it seems to photograph your home. More goes into it than a click and a flash. If you’re trying to show home improvements in before and after shots, it is especially important to photograph the room in it’s best light for the after shot. There are some tips to accentuate the positive changes you have made. These photographs are meant to emphasize what a wonderful job you’ve done transforming the drab to fab!

A side-by-side comparison shows the vast changes you can make to a room.

A side-by-side comparison shows the vast changes you can make to a room.

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{window treatment wednesday: tips for summer}

Summer window treatments for energy efficiency.

summer window treatmentsSummer is upon us and utility bills are rising simultaneously with the hotter temperatures. As much as 50 percent of heating and cooling can be lost through the windows in a home. There are window treatments that will help keep some of the hot sun and damaging UV rays out of your home, while keeping the cool air in. Shannon, the Hirshfield’s Shop at Home resident window treatment expert, shares how to save money with these tips. Read the rest of this entry »

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