DIY Archives - The Great Room


Deck the Hall Decorating 101


It’s that time of year again and thoughts are getting warm, fuzzy and festive and you want your home to share those feelings. The goal is to create an inviting place for friends and family to enjoy the holidays. Sit back, relax and think before adorning that hall, wall, window or whatever. If a professional holiday decorator is not an option, here’s an opportunity to show off your decorating talents. Think about two things before randomly setting out any holiday stuff: your décor and color schemes. First of all, consider your home décor. Is it sleek, modern and minimalistic? You may want to restrain your decorating frenzy and keep that minimal as well. A few strategically placed pieces may be all you need. Large wood block letters that spell a one word holiday greeting on a mantel or shelf accompanied by a grouping of candles might be enough. Decorate a small, skinny artificial tree with simple ornaments. Hang a pine…

Top 5 Most Popular Blinds


Here are the 5 most popular window treatments to guide your decision making. There is a reason these blinds are the most popular. Read on. #1 Cellular Shades Cellular shades are one of the most popular shades in the country because they do so much. The offer a lot of insulation, they offer light control and they come in a wide variety of fabrics and colors. They are available cordless, and some can be raised from the top down. Cellular shades will enhance your windows and work with most decors. Because windows can account for 25% of heat and air loss in the home, the insulation value of cellular shades saves money on heating and air conditioning, a major plus for this product. The structure of the shade creates the insulation. Honeycomb pockets trap air inside and these pockets become instant insulators that stop or slow down the transfer of heat between your windows and the rest of your home….

3 Steps to Being Your Own Designer

Sometimes, the world of window coverings can seem intimidating- especially when you are ordering online. The prospects seem beautiful, but you are afraid of ordering a blind, hanging it in your window, and discovering it doesn’t suit you at all.  Take a breath- we are here to help you recover your Zen with these three easy steps to window coverings harmony. 1. Find Your Style. Take a look around your home, making note of what you love and what you don’t.  Are you redecorating? What do you want your home to look like? This is the easiest time of year to do this, as you clear out the clutter from winter and open your windows for some fresh air at long last. Now choose the group of words below that best describes you and your ideal home. Clean, Cool, Simple   Timeless, Soft, Warm   Textured, Bold, Energetic   We won’t dig into all the myriad of different “style” labels…

Your Roadmap to a Dream Roller Shade

Ordering Roller shades can be a frustrating process. There are so many fabrics, technical terms, and options that the whole process can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath- and use this guide to find your dream roller shade. 1. Light Control First you need to decide how much light control you need. Do you want to be able to see out while protecting your furnishings? Or do you want to make the room dark to enhance your home theatre experience? There are essentially three kinds on fabrics to choose from: Solar Screens Solar screens keep a room bright by allowing light in and preserving your view while blocking most UV rays from damaging your furniture. Solar screens are displayed with their “Openness Factor”- the percentage of the weave that is open. The higher the openness factor, the more details you can see through the shade. Another thing to consider is the color of your solar screen. The human eye perceives…

Keeping the “Brrr!” Outside

Winter is upon us with a vengeance, and if you’re tired of walking around the house wrapped in a blanket, we’ve got some shiver-reducing tips that will have you warmed up in no time, while reducing the dreaded energy bill. Get Friendly with a Space Heater At nighttime when the temperature outside plummets, it may seem like your heating system is powerless but your bill is limitless. The solution to your woes is simple- space heaters. They can be adjusted for individual comfort levels, so you don’t need to shiver for the sake of the easily overheated members of your family. By turning down your thermostat to the mid-sixties at night and turning up the space heaters in the bedrooms, you can save a chunk of change. For safety’s sake, though, please invest in new space heaters with concealed coils that turn off when tipped over. Have small children? Wait to turn on the heater until bedtime, and remove it…

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Make Your Home Bright

The holidays are over. Cousins, grandparents, and long-lost friends have gone back home, and the only disturber of your peace is that talking stuffed animal a well-meaning Auntie gave your little one- or the string of lights in every window- maybe it’s that cranberry sauce stain on the rug by the couch? It may actually be the thought of putting up all the knick-knacks you had to take down to put up your holiday decorations… Hmmm, maybe it’s the dusty film gathering on your window coverings that were neglected in favor of mountains of dishes? Before you retreat to your bedroom to hide from the aftermath, take a day or two to face it. With five simple, no-fuss resolutions, you can have your home back in working order, leaving you free to veg out without looking guiltily at the Christmas tree in the corner every five minutes. Don’t let holiday decorations stick around until Valentine’s Day. Nothing wears you down quite…

Alicia’s Decorating Dilemma 101 — Picture This

Last year after my son’s birth, my husband and I moved out of our large, one-bedroom apartment to a smaller, more affordable two-bedroom space while we save for a home. The biggest challenge we face is less space, and our family photos exemplify the dilemma perfectly.  Only two walls in our new home have enough space to hold photos, so I needed to pair down the clutter. I had a huge hodge-podge of frames that were the product of having my pictures spread throughout a large apartment with high ceilings. The first step in the process was to go through the photos and decide which were the most important. Trimming out old snapshots and moving them to the family photo albums helped a lot. I then narrowed it down to the special shots from specific occasions- wedding photos, holidays, and my son’s introduction to his family.  I still needed some inspiration, so I went online to look at various collage frames. On…

Child Safety in Every Home: 10 Practical and Affordable Tips

So many times when parents think of keeping their children safe, they think of all the dangers that seem to lurk in sinister abundance outside of the home: car seat recalls, guns at school, adverse vaccine reactions, sex offenders, licensed daycares. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, the most serious dangers to a child are actually those they face at home while being cared for by loved ones. The emergency room is host to about 3.4 million child visits a year from accidents at home, and about 2,000 of those result in death in children under 14. Accidental injury is the #1 cause of childhood death in the U.S., and it is almost entirely preventable.

We compiled a list of practical and affordable tips to help keep your children safe and respond to in-home emergencies. The tips are based on recommendations from, the Global Children’s Fund, and the American Pediatrics Society. Most products are easy to install and all are available for low prices either on-line or in your local hardware store.