Home Office Design Ideas

People spend on average 40 hours a week in their home office so we decided to feature our top 5 home office design ideas to help spruce up your space! Your office may either be small and generic cubicles, or a bland and boring room. Why bring that boring atmosphere home with you? With our 5 home office design ideas, your home will be a pleasant place to enjoy.  In order to have a lovely and functional office, consider these characteristics before designing:

BlindsOnTime - Home Office Ideas - Cabinerty

(Image via  Houzz.com)

Storage: Storage is key to keeping a clean workspace. No one wants to walk into their home office, and see piles of paper and folders all over their desk.  It almost scares you away! Custom cabinets are a great solution to storing your office supplies, files, and equipment. It gives you flexibility to create exactly what you need in the space. Check out KraftMaid.com to get some ideas and find a retailer near you.

If you can’t build cabinets because you are thinking of moving out soon, or you are renting, then another option would be a modular bookcase with some nice storage boxes or baskets.

BlindsOnTime - Home Office Ideas - Organize

(Image via ApartmentTherapy.com)

Organization: Now that you have storage figured out, you have to think about how to effectively organize everything to get the ultimate use out of your space.  Think about it this way; when you grab your clothes and throw them in a box, it takes up a lot of space.  Now try folding those same clothes and put them back in the box and you’ll see that they will take up almost half the space. The Container Store is a good place to find anything you need.  When you are organized, you know exactly where everything is, saving you time and stress.

BlindsOnTime - Home Office Ideas - Lighting

(Image via WorkChic.com)

Lighting: Improve your productivity by improving the lighting in your office; preferably with sunlight. Try arranging your desk to face the window. When a room is dark, your inner clock registers it as time to start getting ready for bed, so you find yourself yawning more and feeling tired.  When a room is bright, you feel awake and energized because your mind thinks it is morning.

If you want sunlight without it affecting your room temperature, consider looking at BlindsOnTime’s cellular shades. They not only filter light, but they insulate your room as well.   Another option would be their wood blinds for optimum light control.

BlindsOnTime - Home Office Ideas - Color

(Image via  Houzz.com)

Color : Just like the lighting in a room affects your productivity, so does your color choices. Warm colors (reds, yellows, and oranges) make you invigorated and detail oriented, while cool colors (blues, greens, and purples) soothe and calm you. If you need something in between, any neutral color will make you feel comfortable and ready for work.

BlindsOnTime - Home Office Ideas - Space Planning( Image via CasaSugar.com)

Space Planning: If you have a small home, you need to make most of “dead space.” Dead spaces are areas of your home that aren’t being used such as under stairs, or empty closets. Open a closet, put a small desk with some storage next to it and voila! Another great option for small spaces would be buying an office armoire.  Just close the doors and no one will know.

Combine all of these qualities and you will have a happy and productive workspace. You can also try adding some of these qualities to your own office or cubicle at work and share these tips with your co-workers.

Hurricane Sandy Safety Tips

Record-breaking Hurricane Sandy landed earlier Monday in New Jersey, leaving the east coast with flooded streets and damaged, powerless homes. The time to prepare for Sandy has passed; however, the time to prepare for the next is now. Prepping essential supplies beforehand helps you be ready for any emergency. Here are a few items you should always have stocked and ready to use:

BlindsOnTime - Hurricane Essentials

  1. Water: The recommended amount of water to have stored is one gallon per person for three days. So, for a family of five, you will need three 5-gallon water jugs.
  2. Generator: Not all hurricanes cause power outages, but it is best to have one just in case. Sometimes homes will lose electricity for a week, or more. Also, keep some back-up gasoline in case gasoline stations in your area run out.
  3. Radio: Tune into your NOAA Weather Radio station for weather updates. Besides battery-operated radios, crank radios are great for emergencies because they operate without batteries.
  4. Batteries: They are extremely essential! Make sure you have plenty of back up packages to power your radios and flashlights.
  5. Flashlight: Use flashlights rather than candles. Candles can be fire hazards, especially around kids.
  6. Non-perishable food: You do not know how long you will need food to last in emergency situations so be sure to have plenty of non-perishable food stocked and ready to eat so you won’t worry about the grocery shelves being empty by the time you get there. If you have a pet, be sure to have their food stocked too.

BlindsOnTime - Hurricane Window Boarding

(Image via Washington Post)

Aside from having these necessities, you need to prepare yourself and your home before the storm arrives for optimum safety with these tips:

  • Depending on the strength of the hurricane, you may have to keep your blinds closed to stop broken glass from flying in, and always stay away from your windows. If the winds are severe, board your windows with plywood.
  • Prepare sandbags and place in any door entrances to stop water from entering your home.
  • Be sure to prune your trees and shrubs to keep any branches from flying off and allow for more wind resistance.
  • Bring your cars and anything outside that cannot be tied down into your garage to prevent them from flying away or damaging your home.
  • Unplug your appliances during the storm. This will prevent them from damaging in case of an electrical power surge.
  • Have any important documents, emergency money and clothes packed, and your vehicles fully gassed in case of evacuation.
  • Turn off electricity, water and gas before you leave your home.
  • Fully charge your cell phone and only use when needed.

Even if you do not live in a coastal region where hurricanes land, be sure to have the essential items ready for any disaster. The quicker you prepare, the safer you will be, and the more you can help others.

BlindsOnTime - Hurricane Preparedness

Blinds vs Shades

BlindsOnTime - Blinds vs Shades

Blinds and shades both spruce up the windows, so they have to be the same, right?  Wrong. Blinds vs shades don’t necessarily mean the same thing.  It is important to know what each word means to effectively communicate what you want in your space. Let’s go over some of their characteristics between blinds vs shades:

MATERIAL:  Blinds are made of hard materials such as wood, faux wood, metal, or vinyl. Shades are made up of soft materials like fabrics and woven woods.  These two both hang from the top of the windowsill.

LOOK: The easiest way to distinguish between blinds and shades are if the material has slats, or if it is one solid material.  Blinds have vanes, or slats, that allow you to adjust the amount of privacy and light you prefer throughout the day. They still allow you to look outside, even if they are fully lowered. Shades are made of one solid fabric that can also be moved to tweak your privacy and light preference, but only up or down.

LIGHT CONTROL: The flexibility in light control award goes to blinds. You can control if you want no light, full light, partial light, what direction you want the light to go, etcetera.  Let’s not completely forget about shades, though.  Sheer shades let the light to softly diffuse into the room, and thick shades darken the space.

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LIFESPAN: Blinds are extremely durable, especially if they are made of wood.  They are easy to clean, and do not fade with sunlight as quickly as shades do.  If you are looking to buy window coverings that will last you for years, blinds are the way to go.  Shades are harder to clean because the fibers in the fabric will collect dust and dirt over the years.  Sunlight can also weaken and fade your fabrics, especially if the color of your fabric is dark.  For a longer lifespan, buy shades that include lining.  The lining will act as a barrier and protect the fabric from sunlight.

DESIGN: Because shades come in a vast variety of fabrics, they offer a wider range of styles, patterns, and colors.  They can turn your room into an O-K room to a fantastically stylish room, and are fun to pick out! Blinds do not disappoint either.  These are the better option if you want to control your privacy, light, and furnishings without distracting from your design.

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Remember these characteristics between blinds vs shades when you are discussing window treatments with your designer, husband, friends, or searching for them on our site.  Shop our selection of Cellular Shades and get a free upgrade to cordless before the offer ends October 30th!

 

Easy Halloween Decorating Ideas

Celebrating Halloween only lasts a month.  So having some easy Halloween decorating ideas and tactics will ensure that there is little hassle, yet full effect, for your home. It’s always exciting and fun to decorate, but it isn’t so much fun to put everything away. These easy halloween decorating ideas will make your home spooky and full of Halloween spirit!

After Halloween comes Thanksgiving, and thankfully these two holidays share something in common: orange. This common color allows for Halloween to smoothly transition into Thanksgiving without the stress of heavy packing and unpacking. These easy decorating ideas for Halloween will certainly help you for years to come!

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(Image via MarthaStewart.com)

One way to bring Halloween to both inside and outside your home is by your windows.  They are what connect your home to the outside, and they should definitely be taken advantage of. To create the photo above, try using our Roller Shades in a white color.  Next, buy a thin black fabric of your choice and draw the silhouette you want.  Cut the silhouette and sew it to the shades.  An easier option would be to draw the silhouettes onto the shades and paint them black. TA-DA!

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Apothecary jars are also a flexible way to decorate your home this Halloween.  Simply replace what you currently fill the jars with, and fill it with any candy you’d like.  In this case, I chose candy corn to bring in the orange and a classic Halloween feature, purple M&Ms, and some black plastic spiders to make people cringe.  You do not have to strictly use apothecary jars, you can use any clear jars you have in your home to complete this look.

easy-halloween-decorating-ideas-pumpkin

(Image via MarthaStewart.com)

Pumpkins with dark purple flowers are also a great way to add the ghostly feel to your home.  For this look, hollow a pumpkin and carve it to the shape of a basket.  Then use your choice of dark, dead looking flowers to fill it in.  This is a great example of decorating with versatility.  Once Thanksgiving arrives, lose the creepy flowers and fill the pumpkin with acorns or fall flowers.

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Lastly, the trendy glittered pumpkins!  These are so much fun to make.  You can also turn this into a family craft project to bond as a family.  Create purple and black glittered pumpkins in anyway you’d like.  You can make stripes, polka dots, or solid glittered ones to name a few.  Make sure to have more orange and white pumpkins. That way when Halloween is over, all you have to do is take away the purple and black ones and you’re ready for Thanksgiving.  These can be used outside sitting on bales of hay, throughout your home, or both.

These easy Halloween decorating ideas are all magnificent ways to prepare for this eerie holiday and prep for the next!  After these basic things are in place, you can focus on the small things like replacing your regular candles with black ones, adding cotton cobwebs, and making other small crafts if you dare!

Unique Curtain Ideas For More Drama and Less Hassle

As I’m roaming through Pinterest, I quickly noticed curtains and drapes were being used for more than just window treatments.  Take a look these wonderful, unique curtain ideas and get inspired!

unique-curtain-ideasThe first unique curtain idea is for the bedroom! The drapes in this room give the illusion of height with their vertical lines extending from floor to roof. Changing the color of the drapes behind the bed also acts as a focal point to draw your eyes to that area.

unique-curtain-ideasUsing drapes in an entry way is another unique idea for curtains. Walking through that door and seeing that view would take my breath away. This entry screams chic! These drapes seem light and airy because of their white color and the way they fall to the floor from heaven—well, in this case, the ceiling. It creates an intimate, unique entryway with curtains to the bedroom, and in a sense, guides your eyes to look forward.

unique curtain ideasGot a cramped space? No problem, we have a curtain idea for you! In this case, they used drapery to hide the bunk beds from the living area when guests are present. This allows for an inexpensive and functional way to use a limited amount of area. Because the drapes and surroundings are white, it creates the idea of a bigger room.

Try creating your own unique twist with curtains in your home.  Use these ideas and explore the possibilities with our Window Treatments.