20 August 2014

large windows: options for privacy and light

Well I've finally returned from summer vacation at "home" on the East Coast of Canada, where I enjoyed much-loved time with family, friends and nature. I unplugged and really enjoyed taking time to be still and enjoy the outdoors. I hope your summer has been revitalizing for you as well!

I visited a friend's home while there as she has a dilemma: how to cover her wall of windows so that there can be some privacy but still let in all of the light and be able to take in the beautiful view of the river that the home backs onto. The windows run almost floor to ceiling, and completely cover the back wall of the open concept living/dining/kitchen space. This includes a patio door in the middle. Also, because the frames of the windows go all the way to the walls on either side, there is no room for a curtain rod to be installed on the walls above the frames.

There are a few options to consider:

1. Bottom up/top down celluar or honeycomb shades.

options for large windows for privacy and light
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IKEA blind via 
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These are great for a number of reasons. They provide privacy (different levels available for day/night) but also diffuse the light so that your indoor spaces are still very bright. Because of their "honeycomb" cells they are energy efficient, keeping heat out or in depending on the season. Finally, they are cordless, which is good for child safety and also esthetics. You can even get cellular shades to fit patio doors so the look would be seamless across the whole wall.


2. Panel track blinds.

IKEA
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Running a track on the ceiling above the wall of windows means that you can pull the blinds full across all windows including the door in the middle, or just as far as you'd like. There are many options of privacy levels and designs to choose from.

What's great about this is that you could also install two short tracks on either end on which to hang a pretty curtain in front of the blinds, just at the edges to provide a finished look. They would rest in front a small section of the two end windows, but shouldn't take away too much of the light or view. Or, if you like the look of curtains but want the privacy of panels, you could hang sheer curtains from the tracks and pull across when needed.

3. Privacy window film.

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Gila
OK, this is kind of a neat option, though from the reviews that I've read the film provides varying levels of privacy. The mirrored option will block anyone being able to see in during the day, but not at night. If you'd like night-time privacy as well, perhaps the track panels or curtains could also be added. I admit I have not seen the mirror film used residentially, but it could be an interesting option. Plus it would be cool to spy on your kids, wouldn't it?

I hope this helps when looking for window covering options for large windows where you would like privacy but not have to sacrifice the view. Note that all of the links on the pictures are to sources for the window options. I like IKEA for price and selection, but there are lots of online blind store options out there.

Please let me know if you've come across other options, or if you've used any of the above and can "shed some light"!

29 July 2014

best stylish basket storage inspiration

Don't you just love baskets? I know I do. Natural, wire, vintage, structured, collapsible...I love them all. In my opinion there is no better solution for storage that also looks stylish. Here's proof.

best stylish basket storage ideas
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basket storage in a small entry
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basket storage on open shelving
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vintage vignette
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kitchen basket storage
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best basket storage ideas
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best basket storage ideas
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basket storage for closets
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23 July 2014

DIY comic book coasters

This was a fun little project. I wanted to make something for my brother for his birthday, and came up with a way to combine his love for comic books and coffee: coasters covered in vintage comics! This was an extremely easy and cost-effective project using cork coasters (found at Target or IKEA) and Modge Podge. What do you think?


DIY coasters as gift for him

DIY comic book coasters

21 July 2014

succulents: a home's best friend

Have you jumped on the succulent train yet? Succulents are suddenly everywhere at home and work, and I get a tiny thrill everytime I see one. They are just so green and lush and cute aren't they?

decorating a home with succulents
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They are so easy to keep, even for black-thumb types, and are a natural and budget way to decorate. Not to mention the clean air benefits they (and any plant) provide to a home. 

decorating with succulents
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air plant centrepiece
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upcycled air plant container
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Here's a great chart on the various kinds of succulents. One of my favourite, the air plant - or tillandsia - is acutally not included because it is technically not a succulent. No matter - tillandsia or succulents or a combo of both provide an inexpensive and easy care solution to natural home decor.

A Visual Compendium of Succulents
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