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New Year's Resolutions From Hunter Douglas

~ For Your Home, Not You! ~

Start the New Year off with a bang! Make resolutions that include your home as well as yourself. A promise to watch less television can free up time to paint and carpet the interior of a closet or give your bathroom the spa touch. There are so many changes you can easily make, small and large, to refresh your surroundings and breathe new life into your decor. Plus, it will be fun!

To help you get started, Sally Morse, Director of Creative Services for Hunter Douglas, North America’s top window fashions manufacturer, and the design expert featured on www.hunterdouglas.com, provides five of her favorites. Some of them will surely strike home.

1. Declutter and Organize
Kids’ toys collecting dust? Not enough workspace in the kitchen? Overflowing closets where nothing can be found when you need it? New Year’s is the time to inject tranquility into your life and the best way to do that is to make your home not only more beautiful, but more organized as well.

Begin with the basics: Put things where they belong. Remember the old adage: A place for everything and everything in its place. Give unused toys in good condition to the needy, an excellent lesson for your children and an activity you can enjoy doing together. Remove anything from the kitchen counter that you don’t use every day and store it in a cupboard.

Now the clothes closet, everyone’s biggest bugaboo. Set aside a weekend or a few hours when you won’t feel rushed. Take everything out, fill large, labeled trash bags with items destined for the dumpster – anything stained or beyond repair – and those that you want to give to charity and friends. Organize the clothes you’re keeping by season, dressy, business and weekend, and then by color and length. Put foldables in bureaus and armoires. Treat yourself to padded hangers and it’s done! Suddenly, getting dressed is a pleasure, a chore no more.

While you’re at it, why not perk up the bedroom in keeping with your closet? Consider Hunter Douglas Alustra® Duette® Architella® shades in a subtle metallic sheen fabric, trés moderne, or perhaps something romantic and delicate like Luminette® Privacy Sheers, which feature a sheer face fabric with rotating fabric vanes behind. Both come in room-darkening options.

2. Save Energy and Money
We all have more modern conveniences and electric gadgets in our homes than ever before, which can run up bills and leave a big carbon footprint. Make a resolution to use less. For example, turn off the lights when rooms are empty, the coffeemaker once you’ve poured your morning brew and the air conditioners when no one is home. Unplug appliances and electronics when you leave town for a few days, lower the heat to 55° or 60° F during winter nights and install low-flow showerheads and toilets, which save water.

See if any of your light fixtures can use LED bulbs or if some of the new designs with bulbs that last for years might be right for your situation. They’re ingenious and many are equipped with automatic turn-off. Last, don’t forget the new Duette® Architella® Trielle™ honeycomb shade from Hunter Douglas. With five
insulating air pockets, it can help reduce heat loss through the window by up to 45 percent and solar heat gain by up to 80 percent.

3. Secure Your Safety
Check, check, triple check. Make sure 2014 is a safe New Year. Verify that your security system is working properly and that every member of the family knows when and how to use it. One way to help keep your home more protected is with the Platinum™ App from Hunter Douglas. The first shade-control app available as a free download with no service fees, the Platinum App is controlled directly from a mobile Apple device. With a quick tap on the screen, you can set your window coverings to raise or lower at pre-set times so it appears as if someone is home even when they’re not.

Test the batteries in your smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and any other alarms you have. Examine the dryer in the laundry room and make certain not only the lint catcher, but the ducts and vents in back are clean to avoid
possible fires. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, it’s the flue that must be cleared. With furnaces, it’s the vent. These tasks take less than 10 minutes, but will help avoid dangerous carbon monoxide from backing
up in the house.

When it comes to window treatments, there’s nothing like a covered window to guard your privacy and make you feel more safe and secure in your home. And, in homes with young children it is especially important to ensure there are no potentially dangerous window covering cords within their reach. Hunter Douglas offers the widest variety of products on the market that eliminate lift cords or substantially reduce access to them.

4. Add the Five Senses
Good decorating takes all of our senses into account – sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Are all put into play chez vous? Scope out every room to see if a little tweaking might be in order.

Start with the first, sight. Walk into a room and ask yourself if your eyes are happy with
what they see? Or, are they bored with the room’s blandness or agitated because there are so many colors and patterns mixed together? Next, hearing. If there’s a babbling brook outside, is the furniture positioned so guests can enjoy it? If your home is surrounded by tooting horns and loud passersby, can you sit far from the windows so the noise is muted? Taste is a funny one. What it means, says Sally Morse, is a home should reflect the people who live there. Some might be formal, others casual; bright colors might dominate in one house, subtle ones in another. The important thing is that the look is “you” and reflects your "taste." When someone walks in there should be no question in their mind as to who lives there.

Smell is easy, but it must be refined. From flowers and plants to sea grass rugs and aromatic candles, there are many ways to give a room just the right amount of fragrance.
Touch is last, and includes everything from the texture of a velvet-upholstered hassock to the smooth lines of a modern sculpture to a window shade like Vignette® Modern Roman Shades with wave-like folds that beg to be stroked.

5. Make Yourself Happy
You probably have dozens of decorating ideas floating in your head, but haven’t gotten around to doing any of them. Why not make them happen this year, perhaps doing one a month? Be they small – new bed and bath linens or painting the front door a cheery color – or more lofty projects such as installing new carpet or redecorating an entire room, you deserve them.

One quick way to enhance the appearance of any room, no matter the décor, is with window dressings, and Hunter Douglas has a vast number to choose from, with some, like Design Studio™ Roman Shades, available in hundreds of fabrics in a gamut of solids, textures, stripes, paisleys, damasks, florals and geometric and leaf patterns to suit any style.

Another to consider might be the Solera™ Soft Shade. Providing rich designs in a cascade of soft pleats, the diverse fabric options come in myriad colors, textures and patterns, including an on-trend print called “Cobblestone” that appears to be influenced by cobra skin.

This New Year’s include resolutions for your home and ways to make your life easier and more enjoyable. Plug your ideas into your calendar…and begin…now!

Hunter Douglas Inc., headquartered in Pearl River, N.Y, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions in North America and a major manufacturer of architectural products. The company is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada.

Hunter Douglas branded products are designed, developed and custom-crafted in the U.S.

For more information, visit www.hunterdouglas.com or call 1-800-274-2985.

Follow Hunter Douglas at facebook.com/HunterDouglas, pinterest.com/hunterdouglaswf/ and youtube.com/user/hunterdouglas . Download “The Art of Window Dressing” iPad app at the iTunes App Store at http://bit.ly/wvBK4Q or through a link at www.hunterdouglas.com

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