Roman Shades: The ‘Just Right’ Window Covering

Roman shades are a stylish and practical alternative to standard-issue window treatments, and they come in a wide variety of styles and looks. Made simply of fabric panels that are raised or lowered with the help of a cord system and rings sewn onto the back of the fabric, they warm up windows while providing privacy and protection from the sun.

These classic shades are a designer favorite for many reasons, but the fact that they’ve literally been in use for hundreds of years makes them a perfect illustration of timeless style. Simple and efficient in both operation and look, we love the clean lines and finished feel that Roman shades add to any space. Just pull the cord, and the fabric draws itself up into a tidy series of pleats. Here’s everything you need to know to find the right Romans for you.

Window coverings 1

Finding the Right Look
Speaking of pleats, the first thing you want to consider is the volume of the pleat. If you’re going for a clean, contemporary look, you’ll find Roman shades in a flat fold, pressed cleanly with a straight, flat edge. The swag style is also popular and offers a more billowy, traditional look. You can get Roman shades in nearly any kind of material from damask to bamboo, so play around with the pleat and the fabric to find the right mix for your space. That’s the other reason we love Roman shades so much — their versatility. Reed or jute, cotton or canvas, silk or linen, printed or plain, Roman shades can add a pop of personality, or fade into the background.

You can also get Roman shades created in custom fabrics that match or complement furniture or other accessories in the room –and with even a little experience behind a sewing machine, you can make them yourself. BONUS — they even come as blackout shades. The fabric is printed or attached to a flexible vinyl or vinyl-coated fiberglass material that keeps you in the dark when you want to be!


Roman Shades Window Coverings

Installation Options
Another advantage of the Roman shade is that they can be mounted inside or outside the window frame. Hung inside the frame, you really get that custom-fitted and clean look that Romans are known for. But if you’re working with a tiny window or two, and would like to give the illusion of a larger window, you can purchase a shade that’s larger than the frame and mount it accordingly.

If you have children or pets around the house, it’s worth mentioning that Roman shades are also available with safety cords that are either hidden or inaccessible to the smaller residents of the space. Of course, these days, they can also be mounted for automated opening and closing so that they open from the top, or the bottom, and do it all from your smart phone or tablet!

*Guest Blogger and Award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly  writes on all styles of window treatments, including roman shades, for Home Depot. Kerrie is the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. For Home Depot’s selection of roman shades, you can visit the company’s website.

Fall Decorating Inspiration For Your Mantel!

Many of us love decorating our homes for the fall, but sometimes we need a little bit of inspiration to help us get started.

One of the focal points of a family room or living room is often the fireplace and it can be a challenge to decorate!  Don’t let decorating your mantel stress you out and definitely don’t let it break the bank.

One of the best things about fall is you can typically find items to decorate your home right in your backyard!  Items like acorns, logs, pinecones, sticks and leaves make great decorations for fall and don’t cost a dime!  (Make sure to check for critters!)

Other items like burlap, old crates, lanterns, shutters and candle sticks you can typically find at garage sales or even a local thrift store.  These type of items are easy to paint, stain, or leave how they are for a distressed / aged look.

Here are some pictures of mantels we just love to help with your fall decorating inspiration!  You can make your mantel as simple as you want or really go all out like some of these homeowners did!

We would love to see how you have decorated your mantel for fall!


10 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home

Originally Posted on Freshome Design and Architecture Magazine

You’re going to build your dream home and you’ve thought it all through – or so you’ve thought. You know exactly what you need and want to have in your home, but have you thought about what you don’t want and what you don’t need? Have you really thought the whole thing through? You have given much thought and consideration to what will work for you, but have you taken the time to think about what won’t work

Poor planning and budgets that are too small can lead way to some wayward, inconvenient and disastrous mistakes. When you plan on building a new home, you must look at the home from many angles. You must consider your current and future lifestyles. You need to take family planning into consideration – Will your family be expanding? Or will your children be leaving the nest?  Do you entertain often and host overnight guests regularly? Take your time and do your research both online and in person. Be sure to take the time to meet with professionals in the industry. Poor design choices can make your home not only uncomfortable, but downright unhealthy. Architects, engineers and builders are all trained to help you make effective decisions. They will help guide you as to where you can save a few dollars and where you absolutely should not cut corners.

Read the Full Article on 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home Here

M/I Homes is here to help you build the home of your dreams.   Our New Home Consultants, Design Center Managers and Construction Superviors are here to help every step of the way. Why build a new home vs buying a used home?

“Spooktacular” Door Decorations

Are you looking for a way to make your home look “Spooktacular” this Halloween season?

Door decorations are a fun and simple way to spook your guests before they even walk into your home and they can be relatively inexpensive to do! Even our models in Ohio and Virginia are getting into the Halloween spirit and are decorating their doors this season.

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The best part? These “spooktacular” designs are made from simple materials including; crepe paper, brown paper bags, paper plates, construction paper, tissue paper, you name it! Most likely you already have these materials sitting around your home – you just have to find a creative way to use them to decorate your door!

Don’t forget to look for ways to use your front door for all of its great features! If you have a window in the center, think about using that to make a monster with one eye. Or if you have an opening for the mail in your door, use that as a mouth with teeth coming out! Be as creative as you can!

Guest Blogger: How to Choose the Right Color Temperature Bulbs for Your Rooms

How a room is lit affects the overall impression of the space. Lighting adds drama and function to a room, and the best lighting scheme uses natural light supplemented with ambient, task, and accent lighting, without overusing any of them.

The combination of indoor lighting and natural sunlight can completely change the feeling of a space when the bulb’s temperature is taken into consideration. Finding the right mix can be tricky, but it is worth the time and effort. A balanced mix of bulb temperature can sustain the warmth of a room while allowing homeowners to create different moods within a space.

Kitchen Lighting

Getting Control

One of the best, and least expensive, ways to control lighting is with dimmers, also called rheostats. Dimmers can not only set a mood, but also will conserve energy. They also help you custom-tailor light in a room for multiple uses and decorative effects. Another option is a control panel.

Lighting controls give you the flexibility to design a lighting plan with many uses and a variety of decorative touches. With the push of a button, you can use today’s sophisticated dimming systems to lower light levels to conserve energy and increase bulb life, alter the intensity of light to suit your activity, and create and save a number of different lighting scenes in each room.

2- dimmer photo

Beware Of Glare

When placing light fixtures, consider the glare they produce. Direct glare from a bare bulb is the worst kind. Remedies include deeply recessed fixtures, fixtures with baffles or small apertures, and diffusing shades or covers. You can avoid reflected glare, which is light that bounces off an object into your eyes, by placing fixtures at a 30- to 45-degree angle.

Choosing Lighting Sources

One might think that choosing light fixtures comes first, but professional designers pick bulbs — which they call “lamps” — and then the appropriate fixtures. Bulbs can be grouped according to the way they produce light. Though most of us have a sense of what to expect from a 40-watt incandescent bulb, watts are no longer a good way to describe a bulb’s light output — now, different technologies use different amounts of power to produce the same light.

Compare lumens to see how bright a bulb is. If you want to know how warm or cool the light produced will be, look for the Kelvin rating. For the warm light traditionally produced by incandescent bulbs, look for those close to 2,700 Kelvin. Most of the old fluorescent tubes you’re familiar with are around 4,000 Kelvin. Fluorescents come in many varieties these days, from warm to cool, from traditional tubes to compact fluorescents (CFLs), all in many interesting shapes. Each will have its own effect on the colors in your space.

Incandescent light is still available, but in a more efficient package. Look for halogen bulbs that look the same as traditional bulbs, but with the filament encased in gas. They are able to produce light like a 100-watt incandescent bulb, with only 72 watts.

  • To warm up a room’s color: Look for a bulb with a temperature close to 2,700 Kelvin. Halogens are a good choice, but all types of bulbs are available in warmer ratings.
  • To cool down a room’s color: Look for a bulb with a temperature close to 4,000 Kelvin. Standard fluorescents will generally cool down a room, but check the numbers.
  • To most accurately replicate natural daylight: Midday sunlight is around 5,000 to 6,000 Kelvin, but keep in mind that this is very cool light — contrary to what you might expect.

Halogen Bulbs

These give off the whitest light and do not change interior color perception. They are ideal for task and accent lighting. They must be used in halogen fixtures only.

Light-Emitting Diodes

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the longest-lasting bulbs out there and they cost the least to operate. If your fixture is on a dimmer, keep in mind that while the color produced by the LED at full strength will match that of its equivalent incandescent, when dimmed, the incandescent will get much warmer in tone, while the LED will just dim and the color will stay pretty

Fluorescent Bulbs

These create a steady, shadow-less light to simulate daylight. They are highly energy efficient, and come in both tubes and bulbs. The newest generation of fluorescent bulbs has minimal noise and flicker and comes in a wide spectrum of colors.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) use 70% less energy than the incandescent light bulbs they replace. They’re available in various sizes and shapes to match different fixtures and come in different shades of white light. You can even find CFLs for use with a dimmer switch or a three-way fixture.

Other Light Sources

Some specialty lights don’t provide a great deal of useful light but can be fun as decorative elements. These include neon, fiber optics, and rope lights.

With a rainbow of choices, what bulbs will you use in your space?Rainbow of Lighting

***Kerrie Kelly, an interior designer, writes for The Home Depot on décor and lighting. Kerrie provides tips on a breadth of décor topics from color pallets to the type of light bulbs to create the right ambiance in a room. Check out The Home Depot website to view the LED and CFL light bulbs that Kerrie wrote about in her article.


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