Shutter, Shades, and Blinds – Oh my!

When it comes to decorating your home, what do you think of first? Is it new furniture, a fresh coat of paint on the walls, what kind of floor will suit you best? It’s easy to be overwhelmed, and you may not think about a detail that affects a lot more than just the aesthetic appeal of your space – window treatments are so important to the functionality as well as style of your home, and Shutter Masters in Maryville, TN are excited to share our expertise with you. The first step to finding the right window treatment options for your home is knowing the differences in what we offer.

Blinds carry the benefit of coming in many varieties of material, offering a wide range of prices to suit every budget. Aluminum and vinyl or blinds tend to be more affordable, and wooden blinds fall under a more expensive category – but these options give you a freedom with how your windows fit into your home decor. The amount of light blocked also varies among types of blinds, so keep this in mind if you’re looking for window coverings to provide complete privacy. Often, people choose to use curtains in addition to blinds to ensure a more opaque covering for security. Blinds can also come in vertical or horizontal slat options, ensuring that you can find blinds to suit your needs. At Shutter Masters, we carry a wide variety of well known, trusted name brands. You can view our blinds options here.

Shades are a window covering that offer possibilities different entirely from any other window covering – and Shutter Masters is the place to find them. Shades are a fabric covering that can be opened to all light in, or close to shut out light completely, if the fabric is dark or thick enough. Like blinds, shades vary widely in material and price point – so there’s something for every home and design style. Among other styles, Shutter Masters offers cellular shades, which help to trap air in order to make your home more energy efficient without sacrificing style. You can view our shade options, including cellular shades here.

We at Shutter Masters pride ourselves on our custom, hand crafted wooden shutters – it is in our name, after all. Shutters are an excellent choice for a home with hardwood floors or other wooden decor, as they can be painted or stained to match the woodwork you already have. Our shutters are custom designed by our experienced team to fit any shape and size of window. Shutters are high end and elegant in appearance, and offer the flexibility of partial or entirely blocked light. Our wooden shutters are durable and dependable, and oftentimes can add value to your home. You can learn more about our beautiful shutters, made locally in Maryville, TN, here or by contacting us today!

5 ways your windows can help your home stay cool in the summer

With East Tennessee summer in full throttle, and energy bills rising, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help bring down the costs of living in the hottest months of the year. Did you know that your windows are a main point in your home that can either make your energy use incredibly efficient, or significantly drain the bank? Don’t feel like you have to choose between running the AC 24/7, or practically living in a greenhouse. Here are some ways to let your windows help your home stay fresh and cool during the sweltering summer months.

Install solar film on to windows

Having solar film on the windows of your home does the same thing that it does on your car windows. Solar film darkens your windows so that less light and heat are able to pass through, allowing your home to spend less energy trying to keep up with the rising heat throughout the day.

Use thick curtains or blinds

Summer window treatments should have several layers of protection against outside heat to more efficiently protect against rising energy costs. This can be done several ways. One trick is to combine curtains or blinds with the use of solar film on windows to maximize the prevention of heat coming in. However, if your aesthetic preference does not include tinted windows, you can still reap the same benefits by using light colored blinds or curtains to block and reflect the incoming heat. Try to keep the colors of the curtains and blinds on the lighter side to trick yourself into feeling like the room is lighter, and more fresh feeling. Keep all curtains and blinds closed during the day to provide the best sun blocking effects. Although it may seem like a simple tip, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, By using sun blocking window treatments you can save up to 7 percent on your bills, and on average, lower your indoor temperatures up to 20 degrees.

Take note of what windows need the most coverage

When you are considering your strategy for placing sun blocking window treatments, make sure you take note of what windows need the most coverage. South and west facing windows usually require more protection from the sun than their counterparts. Doing this will prevent you from spending too much money where it isn’t needed, and skimping on the sides that really matter.

Check for any cracks

As you are decorating your windows, take the time to check for any gaps and cracks in the structure. If windows are not properly installed and sealed up, this can let out cool air, and let in muggy outside air, making it much harder to keep your house cool. If you do find any cracks, simply close it up with a material appropriate sealant to solve the issue.

Let the night air in

Summer nights are generally much more refreshingly cool than the days. If this is the case in your home, make use of those fresh hours by cracking the windows where you sleep. You can give the AC a break, and let nature take over for a few hours. You can even get really strategic with it and make a wind tunnel by setting up your fans to create a perfect cross breeze. Be sure to remember to close your blinds and windows in the morning before the heat comes back with full force!

Top 4 Window Treatment Trends for Fall

As the outside weather lets us know, fall is currently in full swing in Knoxville, Tennessee. When you think of decorating for the fall months, images of flowing cotton fabrics may fill your mind. However, if you’ve had the same fall decorations throughout the past years, you may find yourself growing bored with your home’s current style. We’ve found some fresh new takes on fall decor, and will show you how you can easily transform your existing window treatments to bring your home into fresh 2016 fall style.

Let the Light In

In fall window treatments, one trend that is forever in style is to allow a lot of natural light into your space. To get this look into your home, be sure you use simple panels of sheer airy fabrics that add interest and style to the room, but still let light shine through. You can avoid your home looking too generic and add warmth by selecting a color other than white, like a cheerful yellow or fresh green. There are also some great sheer panel options out there with unique patterns and textures. Whatever you do, the key is to keep it simple. Don’t combine too many textures to keep the display from appearing busy and heavy.

Personalized window treatments

In a world filled with generic shades and window blinds, a little creativity can bring a lot of personality and style to your windows. Personalized window treatments are becoming growingly popular because of their unique ability to provide an creative and efficient touch to any space. You can personalize your window treatments a myriad of ways. Decorative embellishments, such as trim that is added to a curtain will look refreshed and make an excellent focal point of interest. Other ways to personalize your window’s style is to paint blinds to match the colors of the décor around them. You can do this by creating small seasonal paintings on each window, or you can even make abstract images of colors.

Natural Elements

Bringing the outside in has never been more popular. As trends become more and more focused on being eco-friendly, and becoming one with nature, so do the materials used to make window treatments evolve. You can participate in this by using materials that are natural to the environment such as bamboo blinds and natural woven shades to decorate your fall styled home. Pair this up with some simple sheer panels that allow the beauty of the natural texture to come through and you are golden.

Layer Shades and textures

While the overall trend of fall is to keep everything light and airy, another road you can take with fall decoration is to boldly layer shades and textures. If you are focused on keeping energy costs low, one stylish way to do this is to install a blackout shade in a window, and layer an airy sheer shade panel in front of it. Metallic surfaces are very on trend right now, which include silver, bronze, and gold metallic textures. Pair any of these with a fresh complementary color such as yellow, or teal and you will be on the path of bold luxurious fall style. Be sure to keep the layering simple by using classic metal rods to hold everything up and keep the attention on the sumptuousness of the fabric.

Ways to Smoothly Transition Your Home for Fall

Although the hottest months of summer are still coming through, fall is actually right around the corner for Knoxville, Tennesse. While it may feel like summer just started, the end is closer than we realize. This means that before we know it, fall decorations will be popping up in stores and we’ll be left wondering what to do with the summer décor we just put up. Fear not, there is no need to run around in an autumn craze to try to get the most perfectly decorated house on the block. Relax, and instead, aim for a smooth, slower transition into the fall that feels more natural and less forced. Here is how to practice mindful season décor transitions.

Let your windows be a framed view to the outside world

Because the days will be gradually getting cooler, this is the perfect time to turn off the AC, and open up your windows to let the outside air in. Look out your window and notice the gorgeous transition of the world from summer to autumn. Take note of the naturally decorative elements you see outside, and then bring these in to serve as points of interest to frame your window. For example, you could spruce your candle holders up with twigs and leaves that are changing color, or you could make an ornate log and twig arrangement that is bursting with dried berries and leaves.

Mix transitioning colors and patterns

Frame your windows with the changing seasonal colors by adding transitioning pieces like patterned orange, red, or brown window panels, paired with the sheer light colored panels that have been blowing in front of your window all summer. In the transitioning time between summer and fall, it is very visually interesting to pair both of these up in a way that feels so appropriate to the mixed weather outside. Help them better fit together by using color tones that are similar, and textures are complementing and play each other well.

Use natural elements that are in season

While decorative palm leaves are fresh during the summer, they seem a bit out of place once the fall months come around. Instead of trying to make them fit in with the changing seasons, use plants that are actually actively in season in the month you are presently on. Branches, and deep purple flowers like hydrangeas sing the loveliest songs of autumn. Try to use as many natural resources to decorate your home. You can make some stunning decorations with objects like seasonal fruit, branches, gourds, nuts, and pumpkins. These can decorate regular household items like candles, or serve as decorations themselves when arranged around the house in containers like crates, boxes, plates, and trays.

By using these tips, you will be able to make your home’s decorations seamlessly reflect the natural changes happening outside. There is no reason to make sudden stressful changes to the décor, simply allow yourself to be inspired with nature’s visual transitions from one season to another, and decorate accordingly.

How To Recycle Blinds

For those who love to decorate it’s time to give your house a little love and freshen it up. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in some new blinds. However, you may be wondering what to do with the ones you’ve already got. Should you throw them away, or is there something better to do with them? And what about all the different kinds of blinds there are? Surely they can’t all be treated the same! Many recycling places do not accept certain kinds of blinds. This gives recycling a whole new meaning when it comes to blinds. Certain types of blinds can be repurposed, while others can be gathered to use as material for creating other usable items. Here is a guide on how to recycle any of your blinds the best way.

Mini Blinds

Generally, aluminum blinds are made with completely recyclable aluminum and can be taken to any recycling center, or scrap metal yard. Be sure to clean the blinds thoroughly before dropping them off. You can easily do this by hosing them down with some water. If you are taking it to a scrap metal yard note that they won’t accept full blinds, only the parts that are made of aluminum and steel. You can get these by cutting the lift and ladder cords in order to free each slat.

Wood Blinds

Unfortunately, wood that has been treated in any way or painted cannot be recycled by conventional means. Recycling centers usually accept cut limbs, or lumber pieces that are left over, but wooden blinds don’t fit the criteria. This leaves donating as the best option. Not only will someone be able to reuse them, it is very eco friendly. If your wooden blinds are broken, there are several projects they can be used for, like using the leftover slats to make garden markers, or using them to create accent pieces for your furniture. Once you stop looking at them like blinds, the possibilities for what they can do are practically endless. The same story goes for faux wood blinds. These are made with a mixture of PVC and recycled hardwood which cannot be recycled a second time. Again, these can be donated, or used in a fun DIY project.

Roman Shades and Curtains

Fabric window coverings are some of the easiest to recycle. These are almost always in demand, and can be easily donated or given to a friend. If your shades are not in the greatest condition (torn or broken) you can take them apart to be taken to a recycling center. Simply use scissors to cut the fabric away from hardware and cords. Any leftover metal hardware can be recycled at a local center. Fabric can be taken to a clothing donation place like Goodwill, or you can also keep it to use in a project. Note that if your fabric is wet, has grown mildew, or been exposed to something hazardous, it’s better to throw it away.

Cellular Shades

Usually cellular shades are made using a plastic headrail, metal components and 100% polyester fabric. Polyester fabric is sometimes made using recycled materials like plastic bottles, but currently the technology doesn’t exist to melt down the fabric back into other usable items to be recycled multiple times. Polyester can, however, be shredded and reused to use in making quilts and as a filler for homes and cars. To recycle them simply cut the head and bottom rail off the fabric, and take it to a clothing donation place. They sell clothing that can be used, but also send soiled or scrap textiles to be shredded and used as filler and insulation.

Donating Blinds

Remember that reusing anything is always a better choice than recycling, simply because there is no extra energy spent to turn the material into something else. If you are ready to get rid of your old blinds but they still work, many organizations happily accept these. If for some reason you have blinds that were never used and are still in their packaging, Habitat for Humanity ReStore takes these in to resell them with other building materials that support the organization.

If they are used, but still work well, check to see if a friend or neighbor is in need of them. Another option is to take them to local places that offer help like churches, women’s shelters, and children’s homes, which usually accept any donations. Always remember, someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure!

When you’ve found a way to recycle or reuse your old blinds, head to Shutter Masters to create a new window treatment vision for your home with a local, custom blinds store you know you can trust.

 Are shutters worth it?

When making serious considerations for the decoration of a room, people hardly ever think of their shutters first. It’s often the bigger furniture pieces, paintings, or paint color that get the most attention. However, shutters have a lot more to offer than most people realize. Shutters are the frames that complete the picture your window’s view creates, ultimately tying a room’s decoration into a completed masterpiece. So what else do they offer to the table aside from making your house look put together? Let’s explore the hidden benefits of having great shutters in your home.

They bring beauty to your home

Shutters are one of the most customizable window treatment options, able to take any existing style to the next level. There are classic and contemporary options available to fit any home, and because our shutters can be custom built for your home, you can be sure that it will match any existing furniture or flooring you may have. Not only are shutters more durable than blinds and draperies, they give your home a completely new look, providing an elegant and sharp appearance. A lot of people choose to use shutters because of their ability to seriously improve the style of any home, not to mention drive up its value when selling.

They raise the value

If you are planning on selling your house anytime soon, it’s a great moment to become acquainted with “home staging”. This is when people decorate the house they are trying to sell in such a way that interested buyers can see the character of the home when they walk in. For the home to make a lasting impression, people need to be able to see themselves living there. It allows them to see the full potential of the home. Great shutters can play a vital role in making the house appealing to a buyer. It completes the look, allowing potential buyers to get a sense of the character of the home. Because shutters are often installed into the existing frame of the window, they are often left once the sale is made. This raises its value, and provides a great point of interest that could drive the sale of the home. As an added bonus, shutters help you make a great impression by making the room appear to be much more spacious when you leave your shutters open and allow natural light to filter in.

They help you save on heating cost

If you live in a home that is blessed by a lot of natural light, you know all too well that this can quickly turn into a curse when it begins to get uncomfortably bright and hot. Shutters can significantly help this situation by allowing you to control the amount of light and heat coming into a room with the simple turn of a switch. This also works in the winter when shutters help stop warm air from escaping through the windows.

Shutters deserve a lot more attention than they usually get. If you are considering a change in your room’s decoration, or simply want a solution for exceedingly bright windows, give shutters a try. At Shutter Masters, we know that choosing from all of these options can seem fairly daunting at times, and are more than happy to help you reach your decorating goals. We will bring samples, fabric and color options so you can see what the treatments will look like in your home or place of business. Let Shutter Masters’ in home services help take the guesswork out of deciding the best solution for your window treatment needs. Schedule your free consultation today!

When to Hire a Pro

Although DIY is all the rage these days, sometimes its just better to get professional help. This is especially true when you have a great vision of how you want your décor to look, but are unsure of what to actually choose and how to install it. Here are some reasons why it’s better to hire a window treatment expert to make all of your decoration dreams come true.

DIY is not your thing

Although it doesn’t look very hard, installing new window treatments can sometimes be pretty tricky. There are always several factors to consider like where studs should be placed, what decorative molding would look best, and varying sill depth. If any of these small but vital parts of the window installment is not done correctly, it will definitely show it. If you don’t have a lot of experience installing window treatments, its better to hire a professional who will make it a breeze. Plus, if you get a customized window treatment, the professional installation is included in the project price.

Your windows are on the complicated side

Most people don’t like to think of their windows as being complicated, however, this becomes an unwelcome reality when they try to find a ready made decoration at the local improvement store. Because windows can vary in width, height, and other variables, this will significantly affect how they need to be fitted. When you hire a professional to fit your windows, they will be sure to note any issues that could affect the design and installation of your window treatments. They will take your window’s exact measurements and unique lines, and with this information in hand help you choose the perfect solution for your windows. By hiring a professional to do the job you are enduring that the window treatment your windows have provides the perfect fit.

You need design advice

Although it is great to live in a time when the options for window treatments are virtually endless, this can very quickly become overwhelming, especially if decorating isn’t in your arena of expertise. With Shutter Masters, you will be able to explore the options right in your home, and receive customized advice and recommendations based on the space you have and your needs. Going forward with a project with knowing how it will look and function in your home will significantly decrease the stress that can come from decorating, and instead provide you with relaxed tranquility.

You have a very specific vision

Its such a wonderful thing to have an imagination that can come up with the most stunning ideas, however it is often the case that our vision struggles to become a reality when we are faced with the actual options that exist in ready made decorations. Most places carry simple two panel length fraperies, and have a minimal selection of fabric and hardware available. When you work with a window decorating expert, your options become practically endless and you have access to hundreds of styles, fabrics, and hardware options. If these don’t completely fulfill your vision, the window expert can help you in the process of designing your own custom window treatment.

You want to explore advanced features

It’s easy to only focus on the visual details of your window treatment, but don’t overlook the way they can function, which is just as important! If you are interested in exploring more modern advanced operating systems for your window treatment such as cordless, or motorized opening and closing, hiring an expert is the way to go. They will be able to explain the benefits that come with each advanced feature, and be able to recommend the best solution that fits your vision and lifestyle.

If you need help picking out what styles best fit your home, don’t hesitate to give Shutter Masters a call. We will bring samples, fabric and color options so you can see what the treatments will look like in your home or place of business. Let Shutter Masters’ in home services help take the guesswork out of deciding the best solution for your window treatment needs. Schedule your free consultation today!

Keeping Shades Clean

Cleaning shades is one of those chores that always seems to fall on the back burner of house cleaning priorities. However, shades collect a large amount of dust that aside from looking unsightly in your home décor, can also cause allergic reactions. Although it seems like it would be bothersome and time-consuming, it really only takes around 30 minutes a month to keep shades nice and clean. Here are some tips on how to keep your all of your house shades clean year round.

Cellular shades

A popular pick for those who want energy efficient window treatments, cellular shades also come with the advantage of being easy to clean. All you have to do is use the dusting tool on your vacuum and going over it on low suction, that’s it! If there are any existing stains, you can get rid of these by lightly blotting them with a sponge, lukewarm water, and dish detergent.

Roman shades

Whether you have flat, draped, or pleated roman shades, cleaning these is quite easy. Simply use you the soft dusting brush attachment on the low suction setting, and gently go over the shades. It is best to use a handheld vacuum if possible. Should you find any unsightly stains on these, simply spot clean them with a cloth dipped in mild detergent. Be sure not to over-saturate it, gently rinse and blot dry.

Sheer shades

These ethereally trendy transparent window shades may look delicate, but they are actually quite strong as they are made from sturdy polyester that has been knitted. No fancy equipment needed here, just vacuum with the brush attachment on the very lowest suction setting.

Roller shades

Roller shades have become one of the most versatile of shades because they can come in a wide range of textures, colors, and fabrics. For these, all they usually need are a simple going over with the vacuum’s soft brush tool, and if necessary a little bit of spot cleaning. If you have classic vinyl roller shades, simply wipe the shade in sections using a sponge or well-rung cloth that is dipped in a solution of mild detergent and lukewarm water. Begin wiping from the bottom, and work your way up to the top making sure to rinse in between sections. Then after you’re done, leave the shade extended so that it can dry. Another way to clean these is using a bath (vinyl only). Cover them up all the way in the bathtub, add squirts of dishwashing soap, and then begin cleaning the shades on both sides using a soft brush. Then rinse, air dry, and hang them up again.

That’s it! Keeping your shades clean may seem like a chore, but when it gets pared down to a few go overs with the vacuum once a month, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. Use these simple methods to keep your shades clean, and you’ll never have that naggy feeling tugging on your conscience about the dust on your shades ever again.

5 ways having an organized closet can improve your life

The smallest things often have a massive impact on our life. Organization is a subtle yet vital part of living your life to the fullest. However, it is something that often gets tossed aside when our busy lives take over. Organizing can help improve your life by allowing you to take charge of your immediate environment and the way you interact with it. One of the best places to start organizing your life is your closet. A closet filled to the rim with two feet of clothes on the floor and a chaotic jungle of clothes on hangers just isn’t the way to a happy, stress free life. Here are 5 ways having an organized closet can improve your life.

Easier mornings:

Nothing makes you regret those extra ten minutes of sleep more than frantically searching for a missing sock for ten minutes. If you’re anything like me, living on the edge of being perfectly on time, and being late is a sort of guilty pleasure. But this can turn into being really, really late if your perfectly timed plan gets derailed by having to search through piles of clothes to find the day’s outfit. By having an organized closet, you will be able to easily find everything you need.

More stylish days:

When your closet is clean, it makes picking out an awesomely coordinated outfit infinitely easier. No longer will you be limited to digging through your closet to find one shirt that doesn’t match anything near you. Even if you don’t pick your outfit the night before, all you will have to do is go through the different sections of your closet where you’ll clearly be able to see the options you have. It’ll make getting dressed as fun as shopping!

Motivation to work out:

Once you get your closet organized, you will be able to decide where you want to put separate sections for every type of clothes. For this, you can use Shutter Masters closet organizers. Shutter Masters has a great service that takes the unique dimensions of your closet, and through an installed system maximizes the abilities of the space to fit your closet needs. One good idea is to make a section solely for your workout attire. That way, there won’t be the excuse of not working out because you can’t find anything to wear. It’s much easier to work out when you pass by your closet and your running leggings are begging to be used. Anything that boosts motivation is a good thing!

Less stress:

Not only will having a clean closet make your life run smoother, you’ll also experience less stress. A study done by neuroscientists at Princeton University found that when they looked at people’s stress and performance levels in an organized versus disorganized environment, any sort of physical clutter in the surroundings subconsciously competes for attention, ultimately resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.

More Happiness:

As Marie Kondo, author of the Art of Decluttering put it, the question we must ask ourselves is, “does this spark joy?”. Ultimately, having a closet that is cluttered and filled to the very top with a mess of clothes will deduct happiness from your life as well as the ability to live a functional and efficient life from the very start of the day. It may appear to be a small part of your life, but as the wise words say, “if you take care of the small things, the big things will take care of themselves.”

Roller Blinds Rock

Window treatments are one of the most important focal points of any room. This is because they can impact the style and mood of a room with a simple switch. Roller blinds have been around and quite popular since the 1970s, although earlier versions were used in ancient Egypt. Roller blinds look great in any room, are flexible in their ability to blend and function within the existing décor, and are very easy to use while having great durability. Let’s explore these benefits further.

Roller blinds work well for both homes, and businesses. They give any room clean, simple lines that connect to the window where they are placed, allowing them to blend into the space of any room. Unlike ornate fabric curtains, blinds don’t have excess fabric and allow for a more modern and streamlined look. Roller blinds also come in a wide variety of colors and fabrics, which can range from translucent, sun-screening, and even black out blinds. This gives the decorator a great range of creativity whenever choosing what kind of roller blinds the room needs to create a certain mood. This can also work to match a room that has already been designed, but needs the final touch of a compatible window treatment.

Aside from being flexible in their ability to blend into any existing design theme, they are also able to function flexibly as well.
Roller blinds can work for any room that requires functional window areas, from master rooms, to children’s rooms, bathrooms, living spaces, and kitchens, allowing for functional and controllable lighting. Some people even choose to install a dual roller blind where two blinds are installed on the same mount. This can help when you want complete control over the amount of light that is entering a room. This can be done by installing dual sun-screening blinds and black-out blinds on top. The sun-screen blinds are there to let the light go through, while blocking annoying glare and harmful UV rays, while black out blinds are totally impenetrable to the light.

Ease of operation and durability are one of the main reasons roller blinds are so popular. They feature a wide range of operating systems that go from spring assisted, to chain drive, to being fully motorized, allowing them to fit into the needs of any existing room. They are able to open and close with very little effort, and with motorized blinds you can control the blinds from any place in the room. Another plus is that these blinds are made of easy to clean, durable material, and feature strong steel tubes, fabrics high in quality, and operating systems that have been tested.

Overall, roller blinds make a great attractive, functional, and long lasting covering for your windows. No matter what your room’s style or functional requirements, there is a roller blind out there that will fit your needs perfectly. Sometimes having an infinite amount of choices can be overwhelming. Let Shutter Masters in home services help take the guesswork out of deciding the best solution for your window treatment needs. We will bring samples, fabric and color options so you can see what the treatments will look like in your home or place of business. At Shutter Masters we have a style for every budget and space. Give us a call today and let’s get started on your new window treatments!