About Me

Don't Rely on Only Friends to Keep Your Salon Afloat

When I decided to open my own salon and spa, I had so many friends excited to try my services that I didn't think I needed to invest in marketing. Those friends did come in frequently, but their business turned out to just not be enough to keep my bills paid. I then remembered that before I began as a hairdresser, I drove many miles to see my favorite hair-stylist that I loved. That made me realize that I needed to advertise not just locally, but throughout the entire region. I drove an hour to my favorite hair-stylist, so why wouldn't my customers? I held a great "new customer discount", and soon those new customers from neighboring cities became regular customers once they realized how much they loved my technique. I created this blog to help other struggling business owners. I hope you can learn from my experiences!


Don't Rely on Only Friends to Keep Your Salon Afloat

Which Window Coverings Are For You? How To Make The Right Choices

by Denise Watkins

You've just moved into your gorgeous new home, and yet something feels like it's missing. Could it be your privacy? If your home came without shutters, you may be totally without window coverings—a problem that needs to get fixed right away. But what kind of window coverings should you invest in? Here are some considerations to help you choose from among the principal options -- shutters, shades, and blinds or curtains.

When to Choose Shutters

Serious weather calls for serious window coverings. If your part of the world features violent storms, high winds or pulverizing hail, then you absolutely must invest in a set of strong, practical shutters. (Shutters also make sense if your windows are threatened by the local kids' baseballs and other such objects.) Genuine cedar is considered the gold standard for shutter material due to its strength, longevity and insulating properties. Aluminum shutters can also last a long time with proper care. Plastics have the advantage of being pre-colored and cheap, but they may not hold up under extreme heat.

Shutters provide one aesthetic element that many other window coverings don't -- namely, the ability to enhance the wall space surrounding the window. When opened, they provide an attractive "picture frame" for the window, while also contributing to the overall style and visual effect of the home's exterior. But if the shutters that came with your house seem to be stuck in the open position, they may not be shutters at all. Some "shutters" are really just flat boards designed and painted to resemble the real thing, permanently affixed to each side of the window. Since they don't really serve as window coverings, you'll want to replace some or all of these frauds with functional shutters. If you do retain any of the faux shutters, make sure they weren't installed in a way that looks hilariously fake.

When to Choose Shades

Exterior shutters can block out light and provide plenty of privacy, but since you'll need to either go outside or open your window to manipulate them, they're not the most practical choice for instant adjustments. The easiest installation that makes this possible is a simple window shade. A typical shade consists of a tube of rolled-up material installed across the width of the window. Pulling a cord unrolls the material to whatever extent you prefer in a matter of seconds.

There are several different types of shades to choose from. If you want to display a smooth, uninterrupted stretch of fashionable color, an ordinary fabric or vinyl shade will accomplish the task nicely. A variation known as the Roman shade features textured folds that give the material more "personality." If you want to control your energy bill as well as your privacy, look into cellular shades. These shades are made to layers of material surrounding pockets of air that help prevent heat transfer.

When to Choose Blinds or Curtains

Many homeowners want the most precise day-to-day or moment-by-moment natural light control they can get. Adjustable shutters can provide that degree of control from the outside, but for quick, convenient indoor adjustments, equip your windows with blinds or curtains.

Blinds are a great choice when you want to alternate direct sunlight with "stripes" of shade. These attractive products can add considerable sophistication and decorative panache to your home, especially since they come a wide range of colors and styles. Hanging blinds are raised and lowered like shades, but the fact that they consist of separate slats gives you the extra option of adjusting the slats' angle for precise light control. Vertical blinds are like giant "drapes" made of slats, hanging from a track that enables them to slide from side to side. These, too, can be angled to give you just as much light as you want.

As stylish as blinds may be, they can also be heavy, pricey, and difficult to pre-cut and install. If you'd prefer a simpler method of adjusting your light and privacy levels, you need nothing more than a set of curtains. Curtains provide a near-infinite number of fabric colors, patterns and textures, allowing you to complement your home's decor perfectly. Simply draw the fabric open or closed and you've got a super-functional solution as well.

The amount of light blocked by your curtain will depend on the weight and density of the material -- but that doesn't mean you have to surround yourself with solid velvet. A blackout curtain has a special backing that blocks both light and (to some degree) heat transfer. If you already have a curtain you love, purchase a separate blackout panel and install it between the curtain and the window. The blackout side may look rather plain, however, so you may need to hide it from the street with a second, outward-facing curtain.

As you can see, different types of window coverings are ideal for different applications and needs. In the end, you may even decide to combine multiple window covering technologies to give your home that perfect look and feel. But understanding what each product can and can't do for you will help you plan your purchases more wisely.