Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mixing Woven Woods and Plantation Shutters

Lately, we have been mixing Plantation Shutters and Woods on some projects. Sometimes, that is with Shutters on the windows and Woven Woods on the doors. Sometimes, it is with half high shutters with wovens on top. In this picture, we have shutters on the side of the house with wovens on the rear (facing the view) so the shades can be raised to see the view.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Screened-in-porch Shades

With the heat of the Summer upon us, we have been installing many shades for screened-in porches.  There are three reasons for choosing to put shades on screened-in porches.  Privacy, reduced glare, and reduced heat.

There are two predominant solutions for porches that we find in this market: Basswood Porch Shades and Solar Shades.

Basswood Porch Shades

Basswood Porch Shades are made with fisherman's twine and stainless hardware for use outside. They have a traditional look and can be rolled up or roman folded up.  Here is a sample of a job we recently installed in Charleston, SC.

The shades come in many colors, stains and weaves.  They come with sway cords to control them in the wind.  If they get wet, it is a good idea to let them dry before rolling them up. 

Solar Shades

Solar shades are a more contemporary solution made of a very durable man-made material.  The shades are designed to be able to be seen through.  They are made in various levels of openness.  The more open, the more you can see through them; the lower openness factor, the more the reduce heat and glare (and enable privacy).   You can see some great photos of these and get additional information at Melbourne Blind Company.

Use these products on your outdoor porch and keep cool this Summer!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Creative Shutters used as headboard

We sometimes have creative clients with unique situations. Recently, we had some clients that needed a bed to be on a wall with a window. Rather than making the shutters fit the window, we made the shutters to fit between a beautiful room divider (and the window). I think it came out great!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Honeycomb (Cellular) Shades

We have seen a lot of cell shade installations of late. It is a more contemporary application that has a very clean, simple look. The stacking height is rather small so you can open up the shade for a complete view of the window. There are a number of nice optional control features. They include cordless, top down/bottom up, control loop (clutch), and top down/bottom up/cordless. There is also a semi-cordless, top down/bottom up! This one has a cord for the top rail (often too high to reach as cordless) and a cordless bottom rail.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Plantation Shutters vs. Silhouettes/Luminette

Here is an article from Charleston Home & Design Magazine in 2010...

Plantation Shutters vs. Silhouettes/Luminette

Judge and Kelly Fowler, owners of Best Buy Blinds, duke it out over the best window
treatments for their next home.

Kelly: I love the look of Hunter Douglas Silhouettes and Luminettes. They have a soft, sheer appearance and provide a romantic feel to any room. They have a distinctly elegant presence that can compliment a wide variety of decors. They can be dressed up or down with drapes or valances. But, they also can stand alone.

Judge: For a home in the Lowcountry, you have to give Plantation Shutters serious consideration. There is no question what window treatment is in use when you pull up to a house that has Plantation Shutters. They are undoubtedly the best application for street appeal. They provide a consistent look across the front of house from the outside. Lowcountry residents recognize the distinctive look of shutters and admire the homeowners’ good taste!

Kelly: Don’t get me wrong, I love Plantation Shutters too. But, when you feast your
eyes on the smooth sheer fabric of the Sillouettes it just seems so right. I like the ease
of how they roll up into a 4” box that hides the stacking that occurs with regular blinds.
Try that with plantation shutters! Also, Silhouettes and Luminettes can be automated so
you can sit back and relax while the view is revealed from a simple pressing of a button
on the remote control.

Judge: Whether you are on the beach or in a traditional downtown, South of Broad house,
Plantation Shutters can give the right look and function for your home. For the beach
house, you can have large (3 ½” or 4 1/2”) louvers. This provides a great view and
maximum light through the louvers. For the downtown traditional home, you can have
smaller (2 ½” or 1 ¼” colonial style) louvers with a four panel bifold. This gives you the
privacy you need with the desired period style. Also, a horizontal center rail on either
type of shutter give you the ability to close the bottom set of louvers while leaving the top
set of louvers open for view and light.

Kelly: Silhouettes and Luminettes are perfect for homes with amazing views like we have
here in the Lowcountry. If you have an incredible view of the beach or the marsh, the
Silhouettes will not block one iota of the amazing view. While both Plantation Shutters
and the Silhouettes provide great UV protection (95 to 99 percent) when closed, the
Silhouettes additionally provide 60 percent UV protection through the sheer when they
are down but the slats are open. Your hardwood floors will thank you!

Judge: Properly installed Plantation Shutters will become part of the window molding.
They can be custom painted or stained to match the trim. It is like purchasing a fine
piece of furniture for your windows that will last a lifetime. Oh, and by the way, both the
shutters and the Silhouette/Luminette products come with lifetime product warranties.

Kelly: Well, I guess what we are saying is that both products are really great additions to your home. Real estate agents recognize all these products as assets for resale. You will see both mentioned as included in the real estate listings. Often, the window treatments on a home for sale will be a pivotal point and with either of these products it would put the buyer over the top.

For a free sales consultation and estimate, call Best Buy Blinds at (843) 884-3454, surf over to, or stop by the showroom at 454 Jessen Lane in Charleston.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do It Yourself Blinds - Inside or Outside Mount

Once you decide to put up your own blinds, you have a key decision to make...

For each window, are you going to do an "inside" mount or an "outside" mount? Most designers prefer an inside mount for aesthetic reasons. The depth of the window jamb will determine if an inside mount is an option. For most applications, you are going to need at least 1/4" to 1/2" of depth to mount on the inside. Check with your blinds provider if you have questions about the requirements of your particular blind. For a full "flush" inside mount on a 2" blind, you would typically need about 2 1/2" to 2 3/4" of depth to the jamb.
The stained blind to the left has about 3/4 of an inch to mount to. It is mounted inside but sticks out (not flush mount). Note the partial returns on the valance to cover the bracket. They can typically be ordered to size or ordered full and cut on site.

To the manufacturer of the blind, the inside or outside mount designation signifies two things...1) Type of bracket - an inside mount bracket needs to be able to mounted to the side or above and an outside mount bracket needs to be able to be mounted to the wall. Most brackets are made to work in multiple mounts types. 2) Size of the blind/shade - Ordered as an Outside mount, the blind will typically come at the exact size specified. Ordered as an Inside mount, the blind will come with some deduction (i.e. 1/4" or 1/2") to the width. This is done to accommodate the bracket and any variation in the window jamb measurements.

The shade pictured is a flush mounted inside mount woven wood.

To find additional information about measuring and ordering window treatments, you can go to our online blinds ordering site....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Soft Treatments

Soft treatments have become more popular in the last few years. In fact, "curtains" and "draperies" led the key word search to two months out of the last six. Based on that, I thought it was a good time to describe our soft treatment offering and what we are seeing as being popular.

Mainly simple, monochrome fabrics (linen, silk and cotton) are popular. These are being done in pinched pleat on rings for the most part for more formal areas. More casual areas are seen with rings and fabric loops. Metal rods are the most popular (oil rubbed bronze and satin nickel). Although, we have seen some bamboo rods in more casual areas. In addition to the drapery panels, we have seen some layering with fabric roman shades underneath or perhaps on adjacent doors.

Our offering utilizes around 150 fabrics. The selection of fabrics is made by consultation with the major textile companies identifying their biggest sellers. This offering represents 80% of the actual usage. By limiting the offering to 150 fabrics, our fabricator is able to stock the fabrics more efficiently. This reduces the price and lead time to our clients. Lead times are in the 3-4 week average compared to 6-10 for custom work rooms. Our prices are often half that of a custom work room. It is certainly worth a look.