{tips for painting exterior wood trim}

Paint Your Exterior Trim – the Right Way

In these crazy Minnesota seasons, the do-it-yourself homeowner knows that painting an exterior can be tricky. Let’s face it – we don’t want to tackle this project again until we get truly sick of the color. The majority of your home’s exterior trim is wood, which expands and contracts with temperature extremes and retains moisture once the paint film is broken. Unfortunately, this may cause your exterior paint to peel. Hirshfield’s experts Ron Clarin and Mike Adochio from West St. Paul give some stellar tips to make sure you have the least amount of maintenance as possible.Exterior Paint Peeling

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{window treatment wednesday: green and sustainable window treatments}

Eco-Friendly Window Treatments for Your Home

Eco-friendly window treatmentsAs the saying goes, “Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents but was loaned to you by your children.” In what ways can our choice of window treatment help us live in a more “green” way today?

Materials Used

Shannon Scarrella, a window coverings expert, says, “In window treatments we talk about ‘green’ in many ways—one is the materials used, such as natural shades made from reeds, bamboos and grasses. The Hunter Douglas Applause honeycomb Vintage line is made from 40 percent recycled material. It’s available in 10 colors, has varying pleat sizes and semi-opaque and blackout materials as well.”

Energy Efficiency

Window coverings are also green because of the energy efficiency they provide. “Energy efficient treatments allow us to limit our use of energy-using products such as furnaces, air conditioners, and lights—anything that helps us reduce energy usage helps create a ‘green’ environment,” says Scarrella. Honeycomb shades, sunscreen shades, and silhouettes are all energy efficient, each with its own features and benefits that homeowners desire. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: sheer summer}

The perfect sheer window treatments for summer.

I am crazy excited for summer to get here. Like Olaf, the snowman from the movie Frozen, I dream about summer, hot sand and “getting gorgeously tanned.” I want to embrace every sunny day and be outside as much as possible. I think that’s one reason sheers are a popular Midwest window coverings choice—they let the sun in.

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{window treatment wednesday: the layering effect}

WTW: Layering Window Treatments

When you move into a home, you want to create a space that reflects your interests, style, and vibe. Through furniture, decorations, paint and little touches, bit by bit, it becomes your own. Another way to make a home personalized is by adding visual interest with window coverings.

Shannon Scarrella says that it’s common for people who move into a used home to add visual interest with window coverings. “Layered window treatments provide a finished look to the room,” Scarrella explains. “For example, maybe the home has honeycomb shades in a nice, neutral shade—this is great, but some people feel it’s an unfinished look. This is where panels and toppers come into play.”

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{window treatment wednesday: clean your window treatments}

Get down to spring cleaning this season with your window treatments.

It’s time to tackle spring cleaning tasks, and depending on your routine and available time, you may clean your home from top to bottom, hit a few “must dos” or simply be too busy to even think about it!

If you do have spring cleaning plans, don’t forget about your window coverings. They can really collect dust and need a thorough cleaning periodically. To give us tips on methods and recommendations for cleaning window treatments is Hirshfield’s expert Shannon Scarrella.

  • Blinds, Plantation Shutters and Other Horizontal Products: “On the many horizontal products that are out there, the Swiffer works great,” says Scarrella. “I’m also a fan of the dust clothes that are available. For faux woods, I take a slightly damp rag and wipe it across the slats.”

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{window treatment wednesday: hardware considerations}

What hardware works with your draperies?

When it comes to choosing window treatments, the styles are numerous—honeycomb shades, blinds, plantation shutters, roman shades, sheers, drapes—the list goes on and on. And then when it comes to draperies, you have hardware considerations as well. There are rods with finials, elbow brackets, drapery arms, traversing rods, holdbacks; how do you decide what will work best with your draperies?

We went to Dawn Feda, a Twin Cities window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s, to find out more about hardware considerations.

She says that most drapery hardware decisions need to consider factors such as the size of the window and the function. Is it hand drawn, traversing, or stationary?

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{baseball bedroom ideas}

Bedroom ideas for the baseball fan.

Today we’re thinking about diamonds—but not the precious gems. We’re discussing baseball diamonds as the season’s opening day approaches. If you have a baseball fan in your house, here are some ways you can reflect their love for the sport in your home.

Décor

This room uses a bold paint choice for the bunk beds and baseball themed linens to carry out its theme. The sheets, pillowcases and accent pillows add a touch of the sport without being overwhelming. The bats and balls by the window are a nice touch—you can easily imagine the kids who live here grabbing them and running outside to play catch.

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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 »

{window treatment wednesday: interview with a window treatment expert}

For the Love of Window Treatments

Scott Anderson, Minneapolis window treatment sales

Scott Anderson, Minneapolis window coverings expert

Hirshfield’s prides itself on its expert staff members. Some have wanted to work in home improvement or decorating since they were little, while others fell in love with the field later in life.

For Scott Anderson, a Minneapolis window coverings expert, it began when he was about to become a father for the first time. His wife was expecting, and the home builder he worked for couldn’t give him consistent work during the winter months. Someone mentioned an opportunity for working in the window covering business. He interviewed and had a job in a matter of days. Now, years later, he’s working in sales.

“Every day has an interesting variety of customers and projects,” Anderson said. “Different customers have different wants and needs at different locations. Being able to identify how to best meet those wants and needs with the variety of products we offer is a compelling challenge.” Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: blackout drapes}

Keep the sun out with blackout curtains.

Block sun with blackout drapes.Feeling the warm sun on your skin and basking in its glow sounds pretty dreamy right now. But despite the current weather slump, there are times when we want to block out the sun. Think about people who work the night shift and are trying to sleep during the day, or a mom with a toddler who desperately needs a nap. There are times when you want things dark and quiet, and that’s when blackout curtains are optimal.

If you need information about window coverings, Hirshfield’s Diane Larson has a vast amount of helpful information. She says that blackout linings are mainly used when homeowners need privacy or they want maximum light filtration.

“Shift workers or people who need to sleep during the day prefer blackout linings for better rest,” Larson explains. “For children it signifies that play time is over and nap time is beginning—plus in the morning it helps keep them in bed a little longer before they’re up for the day.”

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