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Tiny House Thinking for Your Home

Tiny houses are continuing to grow in popularity ever since they gained momentum several years ago. Some believe that the ideas of “tiny living” started with Henry David Thoreau in Walden. In his book, Thoreau states that he, “wished to live deliberately.” I think that idea of experiencing life on purpose partially fuels the tiny house movement.

The average size of the american house is 2,600 square feet. A “tiny house” is defined as less than 400 square feet of living space. (A Small house is consider 400-1,000 square feet.) While downsizing to 400 or less square feet is extreme, there are some ways to employ the ideals of tiny living into our big, everyday homes. Below are tips to help you create a deliberate, vibrant space.

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This mirrored console table will open up small spaces with reflections.

* Use Mirrors. Give natural life the opportunity to reflect and create openness. Mirrored furniture can be a fun way to play with this.

* Use light-colored paint and/or wallpaper. Some accent pieces (like cabinets) can be darker, but lighten up spaces with brighter paint colors.

 

* Declutter! Get rid of or re-purpose furniture that you aren’t using. Also, clean out cabinets, drawers and closets so that you can find what you need and use on a regular basis.

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This coffee table is masquerading as a storage piece and dining area.

* Get some double duty furniture. Use a platform bed frame that has drawers or an ottoman you can store games in. Get streamlined pieces and not anything bulky.

 

* Don’t neglect opportunities to go vertical with storage or decorations. Hang shelves on the wall to store books and other items.

* Using acrylic or Lucite furniture can really open up an otherwise cramped space. These transparent items work well for coffee and end tables in living spaces or multipurpose rooms.

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A transparent Lucite coffee table.

 

 

Here are even more tips from HGTV from lessons learned living tiny.

 

How to Shorten Cords on a Vertical Blind

These instructions are for one-way draw vertical blinds only. (One-Way Draw is when vertical blinds are drawn open and all of the vanes stack on the same side of the head rail as the controls.)

To shorten the length of the hanging, looped draw string on your vertical blinds, please follow the instructions below. You can make this adjustment with your blind hanging and the vanes attached.

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Look inside the head rail and find the vane carrier where the cord ends in a knot.Hold that carrier and pull out the excess cord until the draw reaches the desired height.

 

 

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Cut off the excess cord.

 

 

 

 

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Tie a knot.

 

 

 

 

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Operate the blind to ensure the new cord length is satisfactory and everything operates smoothly.

 

 

If you need to purchase new cord for your vertical blinds, please click here.

What Is It? Cord Loops

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A continuous cord loop is a length of braided string fused together by heat and with adhesive to create and endless circle of string.

Many different types of window coverings operate with continuous, or endless, loop cord. Cellular/Honeycomb shades, pleated shades, woven wood blinds, Roman shades, roller shades, soft shades and even wood blinds can operate with cord loops.

When your cord loop breaks, it can be frustrating. But purchasing a replacement and installing it can be simple!

First, you’ll want to measure to find the correct thickness of cord loop. Fix My Blinds sells four different thickness of cord loops on our website. Measure the thickness by wrapping the loop around a pen or a pencil ten times. Then, measure the width of those ten wraps while they are on the pen or pencil. Match it to the pictures on our site here.

cordloopcellAfter you determine the thickness of cord loop your window covering needs, it’s now time to measure for the length. Simply fold the loop in half (to mimic a loop), and measure from one end to the next. We sell cord loops in whole foot increments, so you may need to round up or down a bit.

Now, that you’ve gotten the loop, how do you install it? It’s easy! The concept is the same as putting a chain back onto a bicycle. Our YouTube channel is full of instructions for replacing cord loops, as well as many other blind and shade repairs. Check it out here: YouTube.

Need Dinner Quick? Fire Up The Grill!

grillI don’t know about you, but I don’t always have a lot of time to prepare dinner. My priorities when making a meal for my family are speed and nutrition. Healthful foods don’t have to take a long time to prepare. Using your backyard (or counter top) grill is an excellent way to provide quick cooking and nutritious meals in your home!

Try to cook all (or most) of the dishes for the meal on the grill. You can easily grill veggies like corn, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. Give them a brush of olive oil, and place them directly on the grill. Sear them at high heat and then move them to a cooler portion of the grill to cook for a couple of minutes. They tend to cook quickly.

Nearly any type of meat can be cooked on the grill, as well. Here’s a handy cooking guide for how long different types of meats take to cook: Meat Cooking Time Guide

Don’t forget about dessert! Fruits such as peaches, pineapple and watermelon are delicious when grilled and can be a tasty finish to a healthy, grilled summertime dinner!

Southern Living’s Easy Grilling Recipes

 

 

 

 

 

Drying Fresh Herbs: Holding onto Summertime Flavors

dryherbs2-2434558C08_300Summer is the season for everything fresh and delicious! I love to grow herbs, and when fall comes, I want to preserve some of that summertime flavor. Inevitably, the floor in my dining room gets covered with drying herbs. The dry Colorado air doesn’t take too long to take them from fresh to dried. I store mine in small containers in the freezer to use all winter long. Or, if I don’t want to wait for them to dry, I snip them up into small pieces, add a little bit of water and freeze in ice cube trays. It’s easy to drop in a cube or two of herbs when cooking.

I’ve seen some people microwave their herbs to dry them. The instructions for doing that are fairly simple: Place 4-5 branches in the microwave between two paper towels. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 – 3 minutes. Be sure that the herbs are 100% DRY before using the microwave or else the herbs will cook rather than dry.

The traditional way of drying herbs is to lay them out on racks or hang them in bunches from the ceiling. Once dry, use your hands to remove them from the branches and crumble into desired size.Tarragon, bay, mint, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary and small leaved herbs such as thyme take well to air drying, so they are great for beginners.

Dried herbs can be stored for up to one year in an airtight container.

Taste of Home has a great article on this topic here.

 

How Much String Do I Need? Horizontal Blind and Shade Edition

Here’s a good formula you can use to determine how much string you’ll need to restring a horizontal blind or shade:

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This is a generous estimate that allows plenty of string to complete the job. Follow the link below for more measuring instructions:

How Much String Do I Need?

Farmer’s Markets: Best Picks for August

tumblr_nsm6p4NmUo1tg33wpo1_500One of the very best things about summer is all the fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. My personal favorites are peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes and all of the crispy greens like Swiss chard. A visit to your local farmers market may be in order! To find a farmer’s market in your area, please click the link below:

Find a Farmer’s Market Nearby

Here’s a list of the best produce to look for in August:

Seasonal Veggies Harvested in August: 

Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chile Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Snap Beans, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Seasonal Fruits Harvested in August:                            

Apples, Avocados, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Fig, Grapes, Honeydew, Lemons, Nectarines, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelons

Happy shopping!

 

How Much String Do I Need: Vertical Blinds & Traverse Rods

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Determining the thickness of the string you need is critical, but it is also important to figure out how many feet of string you’ll need to restring your vertical blind or traverse rod.

When restringing vertical blinds and traverse rods, the formula used to estimate the length of string you will need is:

2 x Width + Height = Total Amount Needed

The string is one long piece. Both ends tie off inside the head rail of the track.

This video shows how to restring a standard vertical blind. Your blind may look different or stack differently.

Click here to purchase new string!

How Much String Do I Need? RV Edition

daynightshadeDetermining the thickness of the string you need for a blind repair is critical, but it is also helpful to determine how much string you need length-wise.

When repairing RV Day/Night shades, the formula for estimating the length of string you will need is:

2.5 x Width + Height = String length needed

(String length needed) x (number of strings in the shade) = Total amount of string needed

It’s fine to measure the window opening and not the shade. The shade won’t be larger than your window. Do not measure your old string, and cut the new strings the same length. The lengths never quite turn out right.

Click here to purchase new string!

The video below explains how to measure for the correct length and also shows how to restring the shade:

How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole in Wood

fastener-sc-02It’s frustrating when you’re trying to reattach something, but the screw hole in the wood is stripped. I had a customer ask me about how to repair this problem, aside from using a larger screw. Below are a few resources that show you exactly how to do this repair. Best of all, the items you need (glue and toothpicks) are items most of us have on hand. I’ve found it is better to pack the hole with wood rather than use wood fillers sold at home improvement stores.

How To Fix A Stripped Screw Hole

DIY Q & A about wooden screw hole repair

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