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Ordering the wrong size of blinds for your windows can be a costly mistake. Follow these tips and measure twice for accurate dimensions.

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How to Measure for Window Blinds


TIP: TIP: Measure everything twice to avoid error.
Step 1: Determine inside or outside Determine if the blinds will be mounted inside or outside the window frame in your home..
Step 2: Measure for outside mounted blinds Measure the exact height and width you want your blinds to cover for outside mounted blinds.
Step 3:Check with the manufacturer Visit the blind manufacturer's website for any other tips or directions specific to their products. Place your order in the sure knowledge that your blinds will fit your windows.
Step 4:Use a steel tape measure Use a tape measure and measure to the nearest eighth of an inch for accuracy.
TIP: Do not subtract from the width. The manufacturer will take up to a half of an inch off so the blinds will not rub on the frame and will operate properly.
TIP: If installing on a wall and not the outside of the frame, add four to five inches on each side for horizontal blinds, or one inch to an inch and a half on each side for vertical blinds, to lessen light gaps and increase privacy.
TIP: For vertical blinds write down the shortest length.
Step 5: Measure from top to bottom Measure from top to bottom inside the frame in three places. Round up to the nearest eighth of an inch and write down the longest measurement.
Step 6: Measure the depth Measure the depth of the frame to confirm the blinds you have chosen fit in the opening.
Step 7: Measure from side to side Measure from the inside of the right frame to the inside of the left frame on the top, middle, and bottom of the window for inside mounted blinds. Round down to the nearest eighth of an inch and record the smallest measurement.
FACT: The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council recalled all blinds that did not have a split tassel design in order to prevent injury to children.

You Will Need
Tape measure
Internet Access

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Pick up some home decorating ideas for the bedroom from interior designer Blanche Garcia in this Howcast video.

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How to Decorate Your Bedroom

Let's get to basics, especially in the bedroom. This is a space that is really different from the rest of the house. The reason I say that is because you don't have to go overboard in the bedroom. The bedroom, there are some simple things that you need to pay attention to. One is that you want to make sure it's comfortable above all else that it's comfortable. So everything, texture is very important. The carpeting under your feet when you wake up in the morning.

The bedding, sheet thread count, you want to make sure that you're probably above a 350, but you don't really need to go above a 700. When you go above 700 you really can't feel the difference. So comfort is really important in the bedroom. Lighting is really important in the bedroom, so you want to make sure you have, maybe dimmer switches on all of your light fixtures. Sometimes you can add those really easily from the hardware store, for a couple of dollars on all of your lamps.

Because who wants really blaring light at you, when you're trying to relax and go to sleep. Another thing that you want to consider is storage. Why is that important? Because you don't want all of your things just thrown all over the room. You want make sure that your nightstands aren't covered with tons of books and everything is all messy, so you want everything to be put away in it's place. If you keep it like that and then maybe some lighter colors, it's always going to be serene and soothing. Those are some bedroom basics, so that you're always assured that your bedroom is a warm and welcoming place when you come home at the end of the day, and also where you wake up in the morning.

Learn how to decorate a bathroom on a budget from interior designer Blanche Garcia in this Howcast video

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How to Decorate a Bathroom on a Budget

So bathroom on a budget sounds like it might be a little easier said than done. Because you really want to think about the quality of the items that you're choosing. You know the style is easy to do. It's more the functionality and putting the quality into those type of efforts that are really the most important things.

So you want to make sure that your sink, your faucet, your toilet, your tub area, that you're putting most of your money towards there. When you're done with that, I mean how much money do people have left over for tile and everything else? So the tile you want to keep basic, right?

That tiles going to be more money than some of the basic tile that you're using for the floor and for the walls. But it's okay, because you're only using one band to go around the room. You save on money and it saves on material. Then a color on the walls that is really vibrant. It's cheap.

If you keep the basic floor color and then you do a nice same color, even an accent color in the wall tile, but keep it plain. Where you want to spend a little bit more money is in the border tile. The border tile is an accent decorative tile that will really surround the upper rim of like the chair rail. So if you have it coming up about four to five feet, then you have an accent border going around in the tile.

It's paint, so when you add a nice warm vibrant color it's going to make it seem like you spent more. A really pretty light fixture and you can get that at a nice big box store. You don't have to go crazy for that. It will make the space seem finished and you know, just completed. Then I think as a nice added touch, is just make sure that your towels have a really nice thread count.

Again, you don't have to spend a ton of money to get a really plush hotel looking towel. Keep it white, white makes people feel like it's clean and they don't have to worry about where they're putting their faces when they wash their hands or clean their face. When you're finished with all of those steps, you'll not only have a bathroom that looks beautiful, but it won't break the budget either.

Pick up some home decorating ideas for the kitchen from interior designer Blanche Garcia in this Howcast video.

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How to Decorate Your Kitchen

So the kitchen is the heart of the home, so everybody says. But it really is true, because the kitchen is the first place anybody looks, if you want your resale value. It's the first placed everybody hangs out in when there's a party or there's guests over and the whole family congregate there. So some of the things you want to pay attention in the kitchen are counter tops. I love stone, when possible. It is not only durable, but it looks amazing. Stainless steel or upgraded appliances, like your stove and your refrigerator, and you don't have to go crazy, because you can get these second hand. You don't have to buy them brand new.

Kitchen cabinetry is a place where you can either go really simple and just keep it elegant or if you want to add pops of color, maybe do a darker tone on the bottom of your cabinetry, but the upper cabinets, maybe you keep a lighter tone. So you don't have to keep them the same. Other areas are tile. So let's say you want the floor tile to be just fade away. Always go for a larger floor tile, maybe a 20 x 20 or a 24 x 24, it'll make your space seem bigger, less grout lines and will cost less. But your back splash, add your personality into.

You can do anything from a very small mosaic, to a really large title that just shows like "This is me and this is my kitchen." Then the last thing that you want to pay attention to is lighting, because you want to make sure you have lighting in your ceiling, maybe some recessed cans, and that lighting is going to make sure that when you're doing tasks, such as chopping vegetables or cooking, that you can pay attention to that. So lighting, materials, scale, all very important when doing your kitchen, and looking for not only where you live now, but also for resale value.

Pick up some home decorating ideas for a small apartment from interior designer Blanche Garcia in this Howcast video..

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How to Decorate a Small Apartmen

So small apartments get a bad rep because you think that you can't fit everything that you need in there, which isn't true. You just want to make sure that all of your pieces work double duty for you. Think about storage and any place that you can get it. So if it's your nightstands, your side tables, your coffee tables, your closets, make sure, you're maximizing on storage.

You know closet is a lot of real estate, so a lot of people leave it as kind of the zone that they don't think about. They think as long as you have a rod in there and they stuff a bunch of things at the bottom, that's it. But it pays sometimes to maximize on the storage, get somebody coming in there, a cabinetry person that could put little drawers and little shelves, to make sure that everything that you have has its own place.

Make sure your furniture works double duty to you. For instance, let's say you have an art piece, that when you open it up it becomes a peg board. Your coffee table opens up to a dining table. That you can get a lot of oddments, that open up for storage. These are items that can save space in your home and also make it feel larger.

Don't be afraid also, to create some really bold movements in the home. For instance, a really large art piece when you walk in the door or over the sofa, cam look beautiful. An accent wall in a bold color. So have fun with it a little bit. It is a play on scale, but the most important thing is functionality.

So making sure that all of your spaces and all of your furniture work as much double duty as possible, and also make sure that things can be moved out of the way. So if you have people over and you have to move the coffee table out of the way that you have the space to do that. So just be aware that everything has a place within the home and everything functions for different uses.

Learn how to use Color Theory When Decorating Your Home.

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How to Use Color Theory When Decorating Your Home

  • Step 1: Study color theory Study color theory using a color wheel. Two colors opposite on the wheel are considered harmonious, as are three colors that form a triangle and four that form a rectangle.
  • Step 2: Go shopping Pick out linens, material swatches, decorations, furniture, and flooring. Get swatches of your favorites and carry them with you on shopping trips. Ask for help from the salespeople, some of whom may be interior designers.
  • TIP: Clipping ideas from magazines and watching home decorating television shows are a great way to learn about color theory.
  • Step 3: Bring the color wheel with you when you shop Bring the color wheel with you when you shop. The visual representation of the color wheel will help you understand why different color combinations clash while others harmonize.
  • Step 4: Decide on a color scheme Choose your favorite coordinating items and decide on a color scheme. Monochromatic uses various shades of the same color; complementary uses two colors opposite each other on the wheel.
  • Step 5: Pick out paint Choose your paint color. Paint comes in an infinite array of colors and finishes and is available at home improvement stores.
  • TIP: Make a small room look bigger by using a light paint color.
  • Step 6: Lay out your options Arrange your final samples in your home. Make sure you like how they look at different times of the day. Then, let the decorating begin.
  • FACT: Did you know? Sir Isaac Newton developed the first color wheel.

You Will Need

  • A color wheel
  • Swatches
  • Help from salespeople
  • Paint
  • Clippings from design magazines (optional)
  • Home decorating television shows (optional)

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How to Buy Curtains

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Learn the steps to measure for Curtain Rods

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How to measure for Curtain Rods


Step 1: Measure the width Use the tape measure to measure the width of your window. Measure both the top and bottom widths and use the larger measurement. TIP: Do not include room for decorative finials or end pieces in your measurement.
Step 2: Add the stacking width Add the stacking width. Stacking width refers to the amount of drapery that will be bunched together on either side of the window when the curtains are open. The wider the window, the more stacking width you'll need. TIP: Include the amount of the window panel that you want to remain covered by the open curtains when you calculate the stacking width.
Step 3: Measure the rod height Measure the rod height -- ideally a few inches above the window to block sunlight over the curtains. Tab tops, clip rings, and tie tops will hold your curtains below the rod, so make up the difference in your measurement.
Step 4: Measure according to your desired curtain height Measure according to your desired curtain height. If you want your curtains to hang higher, allow space for tops or rings at the ceiling.
Step 5: Check the size of your draperies Check the size of your draperies. Ready-made draperies typically come in 84-inch lengths to fit he most common doors and windows, which are usually 80 inches high.
Step 6: Check your measurements Check your measurements by marking the wall and having helpers hold the draperies at the marks before you permanently install your curtain rods. Enjoy your new decor. FACT: Early curtains were made from heavy silks and velvets to minimize drafts.

You Will Need
Measuring tape
Pencil and paper
Drapery sizes

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