{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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{spring break paint inspirations}

Paint Colors Inspired by Spring Break

It’s spring break season, and if my Facebook friends are any indication, throngs of Midwesterners are heading south to warmer climates and sandy beaches. When you’re at the seashore, it’s wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle of dreary, blah, cold life here in the Midwest. The warm sunshine, sand between your toes, fresh ocean air—it’s an entirely sensational experience and pretty much the opposite of what we’re dealing with here at home! Even the décor at the beach is different, with bright colors of aqua to coral, and plenty of beach-themed accessories. If you love that vibe, you incorporate it into your décor once you’re home.

When it comes to paint, you can add some pops of “beach” colors into your space. This entryway is full of color and vitality. Perhaps the homeowner, who happens to be from Minnesota, was attracted to these colors after going to the beach?

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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 »

{friday finds: basketball themed décor}

March Madness

College basketball fans love their teams, and March Madness can get intense. A friend of mine scheduled surgery at its onset so he could recover while watching the games. I read an article claiming that lost worker productivity costs companies $1.7 billion during March Madness—although that statistic’s validity has been debated. Either way, March Madness is coming and basketball fans are gearing up for some great action on the court. Bring some of that excitement home with you and try these basketball inspired rooms.

Bedrooms

Younger fans might take their love for basketball and, while they’re still young enough to carry it off, apply it to the décor in their bedrooms.

You can have subtle touches of your basketball theme, implementing accent pieces here and there—an autographed, framed jersey on the wall; a vintage leather basketball; maybe picture frames.

basketball theme rooms

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{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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{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: window coverings to block noise}

Add some peace and quiet to your home by using the right window coverings.

How to block noise with window treatments.You know what they say about buying a home—location, location, location. When you choose where you want to live, there are numerous factors: proximity to work, good neighborhood schools, the character of the neighborhood, quality of parks and recreational trails—the list goes on and on. And sometimes you’ll choose to live somewhere that’s relatively noisy because the other “pros” are so abundant. I once lived near a small airport. Although it was usually quiet, once a week, large tandem military Chinook helicopters would fly in the area. They were so loud, it sounded like they were going to land on my roof!

I understand and sympathize with people who have a house they love but an exterior noise problem they loathe. How can window treatments block noise, keep your house quieter and increase your feeling of calm and serenity?

Andrea Mandel is a Minneapolis window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s. She says that when it comes to blocking noise, anything in front of a window will help, with the amount of reduction determined by the materials and product features you choose and whether the window covering is open, closed, raised or lowered. Some manufacturers, such as Hunter Douglas, rate their products’ ability to absorb sound to guide homeowners. Read the rest of this entry »

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