A Brief Guide to Window Curtain Terminology - Wasatch ShutterWondering about the many different types of curtains out there, and which type might be best for your windows? Here is a brief guide to different types of curtains and curtain terminology.

Valance

A valance is a type of window curtain that covers the uppermost part of a window, and it may or may not be paired with other curtains and blinds. Many people use valances to add an extra formal touch to their windows and to conceal curtain hanging hardware. Valances themselves come in a variety of styles, including balloon, ascot, Italian, cascade, rosette, and cornice.

Scarf

A scarf is similar to a valance in that it is hung along the uppermost part of a window. It is designed to drape along the top of a window and then hang down the sides. Often scarves are used with panels and tied back for a more sophisticated look.

Café (more…)

Window Treatments for Going without Curtains - Wasatch ShutterWant to dress your window treatments without making a fuss about curtains? The good news is that with today’s window treatment options, you can. Here are four types of window treatments that can truly stand on their own without needing to be paired with curtains.

Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are truly in a category of their own in the wide ranging world of window treatment options. They can be made from a wide variety of materials, including standard basswood, specialty woods, MDF, and synthetic materials, meaning that you can have plantation shutters made to complement virtually any interior space. The sophisticated look of plantation shutters—especially that of richly stained wood plantation shutters—makes them a stand-out window treatment. And since plantation shutters can be custom made to fit even in windows that feature an arch along the top, there is no need to supplement with curtains.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are probably the most elegant variety of shade you can get, and they also happen to resemble curtains with their tiered, layered look. The great thing about Roman shades is that they are almost like a thick, sophisticated curtain on their own, custom cut to fit your window precisely. And you can raise and lower them with ease in a way that you simply can’t with curtains. You’ll find Roman shades in neutral colors; light, pastel colors; and deep, rich colors alike—and you can even opt for patterned cotton, silk, or linen Roman shades. (more…)

Window Treatments for Bathroom PrivacyWindow treatments in the bathroom can be tricky; on the one hand, you want to be able to fill your bathroom with sunlight, but on the other hand, you want your window treatments to offer privacy in the bathroom as well. Here is a look at some of the most popular window treatments that offer you a happy medium.

Plantation shutters

Plantation shutters can, of course, give you both options. You can open them to let in as much light as you desire, and you can close them again to give you privacy when you need it. For your bathroom, you might want to consider plantation shutters that feature a midrail. A midrail essentially splits each shutter panel into two—a top half and a bottom half—so that you have the option of opening only the top slats or only the bottom slats. This is especially useful in bathrooms, where you might choose to have the bottom slats closed for privacy and the top slats open for letting sunlight in.

Shutters featuring a midrail also happen to be an especially great option if you have double hung windows installed in your bathroom. Then, you can open the top portion of your window along with the top slats of your plantation shutter to let fresh outdoor air into your bathroom.

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6 uses for blackout shades | Wasatch ShutterBlackout shades are not only for blocking out the sunlight in bedrooms; you can also use them in a variety of ways around the home. Here are some of the most common ways that people use blackout shades in their homes.

Bedroom

Whether you work the night shift and need to get your sleep in during the day, you regularly take a nap in the afternoons, or you simply like to sleep in late, blackout shades are the perfect solution for creating a dark and sleep appropriate bedroom during the daylight hours.

Home Theater

Blackout shades are also the perfect solution for creating the perfect environment for watching movies (at any time of the day) in your home. You can block out any sunlight completely and use special dimmable lighting in your home theater in order to create that perfect movie theater ambiance. Blackout shades are also useful here in that they will cut out any glare that would otherwise interfere with your ability to see the TV or projector screen.

Photography darkroom (more…)

Wood Blinds vs. Faux Wood Blinds: The Pros and Cons of EachWhen purchasing horizontal blinds for your windows, it can be difficult to make the decision between real wood and faux wood blinds. While both are great options for window treatments, there are factors that might sway you toward one or the other. Here is a brief guide to the difference between wood and faux wood horizontal blinds—and what the pros and cons are of each.

Wood Blinds

Wood blinds can be made from a variety of woods, including basswood, abachi, and ash (basswood being the most common). Wood blinds are known for their luxurious and sophisticated look, which faux wood can come close to but not duplicate completely. These blinds come in a variety of finishes as well, allowing you to choose a neutral tone or black or white for your blinds. Wood blinds are also actually lighter in weight than faux wood blinds, making them especially great for extra large windows and for lasting durability. While faux wood blinds are easier to maintain than real wood blinds because of their resistance to moisture, you can still clean real wood blinds relatively easily using a damp cloth and a specialized wood cleaner if necessary.

Pros (more…)

Regulate Your Home Temperature Using Less EnergyNow that it’s almost spring and we’re headed for warmer spring weather, we’re hitting that awkward period when you almost need to use both the air conditioning and the heating system in one day. There are, however, many other ways that you can regulate the temperature in your home, without having to turn on your heating and air conditioning systems. Here are some tips for regulating the temperature in your home, all while using less energy.

When it’s cold…

…open your oven.

If you’ve just been using your oven, and the temperature in your home happens to be colder than you’d like, go ahead and leave your oven open once it’s turned off. This will let all of that extra heat drift into the home, warming up the ambient air without the use of your home’s heating system.

…use your fan.

Did you know that many ceiling fans are reversible, allowing you to turn them on to a function that recirculates warm air near the ceiling back down towards the ground? Take advantage of this reversible setting on your fan during the winter months to keep that heated air circulating in your home. (more…)

8 Things in Your Home You Should Start VacuumingIn the middle of cleaning your floors? Don’t put that vacuum away just yet. Here are 8 things in your home that you’re likely forgetting to vacuum.

Refrigerator coils

Vacuuming your refrigerator coils is actually essential to keeping your fridge running efficiently. You should aim to vacuum them twice a year—so every six months or so. Coils will be located on the back of older refrigerators, but these days you’ll usually find the coils located at the bottom of your fridge (usually at the front), behind a removable panel.

Knife block

Staying in the kitchen for a moment, have you ever considered just how many crumbs are probably lingering in your kitchen knife block? You can easily use a vacuum fitted with a crevice cleaner tool to get all of that debris out.

Window treatments

Window treatments require extra attention during cleaning, as you want to make sure you don’t break any of the working mechanisms, such as the blind pulley, plantation shutter louver, etc. Try dusting them on a monthly basis using a low suction vacuum fitted with a brush attachment. You can use this technique on horizontal blinds, vertical blinds, shutters, or shades. This technique is also great for keeping your window curtains free of dust and dirt in between washes. (more…)

Hardwood vs. Softwood: What's the Difference?Hardwoods and softwoods: what’s the difference, and which type is better for interior shutter manufacturing? Or is one type better than the other for interior shutter manufacturing? Here is a look at hardwoods vs. softwoods and which types of wood are most often used to make interior plantation shutters.

What’s the difference?

While you might think that the difference between a hardwood and a softwood has to do with the hardness of a particular variety of wood, the difference is actually something else entirely: hardwoods come from trees whose seeds fall to the ground in some sort of shell or fruit (think of deciduous trees whose leaves fall during autumn), and softwoods come from trees whose seeds fall to the ground without any sort of covering (think of coniferous trees that typically have needles and cones).

So it really has nothing to do with the innate qualities of a piece of wood. Balsa wood, for example, is one of the softest woods you can work with, yet it is technically classified as a hardwood. Yew, meanwhile, is tougher than many hardwoods—oak included—yet it is technically a softwood.

With that said, you’ll find both hardwoods and softwoods used in plantation shutter manufacturing. Here is a look at some of the most frequently used types. (more…)

15 Feb 2016

All About Basswood

All About BasswoodAs you may have noticed, a great many of our shutters are made from basswood. In fact, basswood is our number one selling hardwood for plantation shutters—and for good reason. Basswood, when used for plantation shutters, carries a wide range of benefits, and overall it lends itself to making high quality shutters for your home. Here is a look at some of the top benefits that basswood has to offer.

It’s beautiful.

Basswood has a very straight and uniform texture, and when you work with it, you’ll notice that the grain is light and stable. You can always choose to stain basswood rather than paint it because basswood exhibits a uniform, consistent color throughout. Overall, this makes any window treatment made from basswood a beautiful addition to your home.

It stains well.

Because basswood exhibits a uniform texture and beautiful grain, staining it only amplifies its rich, natural wood look. Staining basswood brings out the natural wood grain, and due to its unique composition, basswood happens to take stain very well. Basswood can also be painted just about any color with very little trouble. (more…)

fancy dining roomLooking to impress your significant other on Valentine’s Day this year? An at-home, fully prepared meal might be just the way to go. Here is a brief guide to dressing up the dining room for an at-home romantic dinner.

Get the lighting just right.

Lighting is key to getting a perfectly romantic ambiance. You’ll definitely want to keep your shutters or blinds mostly closed for maximum control over your lighting; then, supplement with overhead lighting on a dimming switch or with candles for an overall dim, yet amply lit atmosphere. (A combination of both is probably best because it can be difficult to bring enough lighting into a room with only candles.) Even if you feel that the room is amply lit without candles, you should be sure to include them because candles will lend that classic romantic touch.

Opt for a formal table setting.

Now is the time to pull out that fancy white tablecloth and fine dinnerware if you have it.  (If you have only everyday dinnerware on hand, you can always dress it up with linen napkins and an elegant table setting.) Get some linen napkins to use over your typical paper ones, and pay attention to where you put the silverware. (more…)