{window treatment thursday: why solera shines so bright}

When Hunter Douglas introduced Solera window treatments in 2012, they were an immediate hit – an exciting new alternative that combined the soft folds of roman shades with the efficiency and practicality of honeycombs. And now the soft shades known for their beauty and versatility have even more options, with more colors, textures and fabrics available this year – along with a new motorized version.

“It’s just an upgraded look from honeycomb shades,” says Bonnie West of Hirshfield’s Shop at Home. “It’s just a much richer look than a honeycomb shade and less expensive than a roman shade.”

Sloan Light Filtering – Solera by Hunter Douglas

It’s also a finished look. “If you just have a honeycomb shade, you still need a valance or side panels to finish the room off,” she notes. “But with the Solera, it looks nice on its own. You don’t have to add any treatments to make it feel finished.”

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{friday finds: new thibaut book with natural beauty}

After the success of its Natural Resource book, it’s no surprise that Thibaut Design is back with more.  Natural Resource Volume 2 is now in our stores, encompassing raw materials and specialty papers like printed corks, sisals, paperweaves and metallic linens – a new Thibaut book with natural beauty.

RO-TazaCork

Taza Cork – Thibaut Design

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{wallcovering wednesday: new williamsburg prints}

York’s newest wallpaper collection is inspired by the textiles, maps and architecture of Colonial Williamsburg. The “Trend Meets Tradition” collection fuses American craftsmanship with the international influences that accented homes in the era.

WILLIAMSBURG is the latest line licensed by Williamsburg Brands, drawing on the extensive design archive of the not-for-profit Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Isham Indienne - YORK Wallcoverings

Isham Indienne – YORK Wallcoverings

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{friday finds: top drapery designer joins shop at home team}

Hirshfield’s Shop at Home Welcomes Judy Ciaciura

It’s hard to find anybody who enjoys working with draperies and window treatments more than Judy Ciaciura. “I love what I do,” she says. “I love the challenge of solving window treatment challenges.”

Judy Ciaciura

Judy Ciaciura

Judy has been solving those challenges since 1973, when she started her career at Dayton’s in Downtown St. Paul (for those of you who remember that store), and developed quite a reputation for her design work after opening DJ Draperies in Little Canada with her friend Donna in 1988.

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{wallcovering wednesday: bohemian rhapsody}

Brewster Brings the Bohemian Chic with Kismet Collection

For those of you who survived the 80s decorating palette, it may be difficult for you to think you’d ever plaster another room with wallpaper. Remember the flowery patterns and the bold (let’s call them vivid) colors? Yikes, I think we all still remember some atrocious patterns in bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms across the Twin Cities.

KISMET-Shibori Print

A Beautiful Shibori Print from A-Street Prints Kismet Collection

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{backyard bungalows: designer sheds and outbuildings}

Friday Finds: Bar Sheds, She Sheds, And So Much More

Remember how the Man Cave gained traction in the 90s? There was a general consensus that men needed a designated place to rest, grunt and watch football. Basements across the Midwest were converted from storage rooms to adult playrooms, accommodating the inner male child – bars, hunting themes and sports memorabilia popped up like wildfire.

Well, I have come upon a new trend – backyard sheds. Nope, not those ugly sheds designed to house your tools and your mower; but rather a separate building designed for relaxation, entertainment and a refuge from the real world.

Sitting room shed in Crail

An avid gardener uses her shed for guests when she hosts garden tours.

Much like casitas (a separate small building next to a home) that are popular in the south, sheds may soon serve the same purpose here in the Midwest. Be it a social gathering point – think a bar building next to a pool (a Bar Shed), or a cozy backyard shed to serve as a personal retreat (yoga sheds, reading rooms and craft rooms have all been called She Sheds) – the idea is gaining interest among suburbanites and urbanites alike.

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{what’s the deal with granny flats?}

Granny Flats: Grandma’s Home That’s Not Away From Home

There are so many dizzying trends highlighted daily in the media. Some are crazy (beaded lips, vampire facials and fish pedicures to mention a few), but when I saw an article on “granny flats,” I was intrigued. Essentially, you can live near your momma without actually living with her. That sounds ideal to me!

Granny Flat Connected To Home – Burlington Architects & Building Designers CULTivation D.S

Basically, builders are starting to recognize the obstacles growing old presents: high cost of living, slow rebound coming out of the recession, and the widening health care costs for aging parents (to name a few). They have coined the phrase “NextGen” living where adding separate (yet attached) living quarters to house an aging parent. They have separate exterior entrances and often their very own single-car garage. The interior has one or two doors to connect to the main home, and the space ranges from 600 square feet to a bit larger, and it includes a single bedroom and a kitchenette along with a main living space.

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