Bring more natural light into a home.

Some Advise from Spring Shutters and Blinds.. 


Maximizing natural light in a home is a smart and sometimes low-cost renovation. Homes that are dark and drab can drain energy levels and reduce productivity. In addition, dark rooms may not be inviting places to gather as a family or when entertaining.
Certain factors contribute to a dark home. Houses that face north or east may not get the same level of sunlight as those that primarily face south and west. Geographic location also plays a role in the amount of natural sunlight. Mountains, buildings and even latitude can affect the amount of natural light that enters a home.
The style of a home and its attributes also may create dark conditions. Deep house eaves as well as small windows or too few windows also can contribute to a deficit of light indoors. A major remodel certainly can remedy the situation. However, there also are other less-extensive strategies to improve natural light.
• Assess the situation before renovating. Walk around the house and determine which rooms get the most light and which conditions may be contributing to the problem in other areas. Dark floors and walls may be absorbing natural light and compounding the situation. You may find that only one or two rooms need attention, saving you the cost and effort associated with a major home overhaul.
• Lighten up window treatments. Heavy drapes or thick blinds can be replaced with translucent alternatives. Translucent shades will allow light into the room without compromising privacy, say the experts at HGTV. 
• Use mirrors strategically. A mirror placed opposite a window will reflect light all around the room. This can make a small room seem larger and a dark space instantly brighter.
• Install new windows and doors. If the budget allows, installing larger windows in a home will allow more natural light in. French doors or sliding doors also may make a home’s interior more bright. Think about adding windows to a side of the house that has none, or increase the size of the windows on the side of the house that gets the most light. 
• Maximize sunlight from above. Skylights will bring light into a home as the sun passes overhead. Tubular skylights can bring natural sunlight into spaces where you may not expect skylights to be practical. According to Houzz, a design and architectural resource, tubular daylighting devices, or TDDs, can make a big difference. TDDs are reflective pipes installed between the roof and ceiling, with a clear plastic dome. 
• Use reflective decor. Reflective surfaces, including glass and metal, can brighten up a room and diffuse light around a room. Glossy backsplashes, pendant lighting and shiny metal that reflect light can increase the natural light, balancing out dark spaces.
• Prune trees regularly. Cut back branches and keep trees tidy to maximize sunlight. Avoid planting tall shrubbery in front of windows.
• Routinely clean windows and glass doors. Dirt and other grime can prevent light from getting through. Regularly give windows a thorough washing.
Natural light is an important commodity in a home. Sunlight can improve mood and go a long way toward keeping home occupants healthy and happy. If you should need more information on window coverings you can contact us at

713-504-9789.  WWW.SpringShutters.com  

 Leanne Donelson owner of Spring Shutters and Blinds

Leanne Donelson owner of Spring Shutters and Blinds

5 Simple Ways To Go Green At Home And Save Money

Thinking green throughout the year can offer some significant benefits. Here are some easy ways you can go green in your own home and lower your energy bills:


Invest in a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your house, saving you energy while you’re out for the day, away on vacation or sleeping. 
Switch all of your lightbulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent light) or LED bulbs. They last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, saving you money on your electric bills.


Insulate well. Use insulation with a high R-value, such as Roxul Comfortbatt, to top up insulation in your attic. Aim for an R-value of 50 or a depth of 16 inches. For whole home efficiency, ensure other areas of your home are well insulated, such as crawl spaces, basement headers, walls and ceilings. It will keep your house cool in the warm weather and take the stress off your air conditioning unit. 


Stop air leaks around your home by sealing existing gaps and cracks. Use caulking or weather stripping around doors and windows. Installing a door sweep is also a good idea.  
Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. Only do laundry or run the dishwasher when you have full loads.


Remember that many little improvements can add up — providing valuable monthly savings for you, while protecting our environment for the future

Create a Budget-Friendly Home Landscape

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Homeowners understandably envy the award-worthy photo spreads in lawn and garden magazines, wanting to emulate those same looks on their own properties. Scores of designers and landscape architects are involved in the process of creating those amazing lush lawns and perfectly placed plantings. Although not every homeowner has the budget to create lavish landscape designs, it’s still possible for homeowners to create lawns they can be proud of.

  • Establish your budget. The first step in any project is to determine how much money you can devote to the job. Once you have established the budget, all other factors can be built around it.
  • Find an inspiration piece. Great landscapes are inspired by many things, whether it’s a memorable piece of art or a landscape layout in a lawn and gardening magazine. Use photos of other gardens or neighbors’ yards as inspiration and build off of them. As long as the theme is cohesive, it will look pleasing to the eye.
  • Consider the space and how you want to use it. Understanding the space will help you better allocate your budget. If your yard is more of a retreat, look for ways to create privacy and a vacation feel. If you have kids and entertaining friends is a main priority, focus on recreational aspects, such as a pool, playset and some durable plants. Understanding how to allocate your budget will help you to avoid spending money frivolously.
  • Think about reclaimed or repurposed materials. Brand new items can quickly eat up a budget. However, repurposing salvaged or inexpensive items can stretch that budget while adding some unique flair to a landscape. See if you can find an outdoor patio set that someone is giving away or selling for a lower price. All it takes is a coat of paint and some new cushions to make it look like new. Discarded bricks or stones can be worked into a patio space or used to create raised garden beds. Purchase inexpensive flower pots and then paint them to make them look like stone or another desired material.
  • Buy native plants. Native plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers will fare better than non-native, exotic plants. That means you’ll have to spend less time and money nurturing them into health, and less money having to replace plants that cannot withstand your climate.
  • Consider perennial plants. Perennials may cost more at the outset, but the savings will be realized in the years to come.
  • Hire a professional. It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a landscaping professional when you’ve established a strict budget, but that’s one way to save money. Landscape artists or garden designers have the experience to guide you in the right direction and help you avoid potentially costly mistakes. 
  • Use gravel in spots where plants don’t thrive. Gravel is an inexpensive landscaping material that can fill in voids where plants or ground cover simply do not flourish. Those working on limited budgets may be happy to learn gravel is typically less expensive than concrete or pavers.
  • Ask friends or family for clippings. Don’t be shy about admiring the plantings of those you know. Flatter their good taste and ask if you can have some clippings to propagate yourself. These clippings can turn into lush plants in no time — with no additional spending required.

 With some frugal spending, planning and budgeting, anyone can create a beautiful landscape.

Spring Cleaning Projects You Don’t Want To Forget

Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many households. After a winter spent cooped up indoors, spring cleaning can rejuvenate a household and provide a great chance to rid a home of a season’s worth of clutter.
Donating old clothes and cleaning out the garage are popular spring cleaning projects, but there are a host of additional tasks homeowners can tackle to freshen up their homes this spring. 

Floors
Simply vacuuming or sweeping the floors might not be enough to banish some of winter’s most uninvited guests. Dust has a way of settling into a home over the course of a typical winter, and it’s easy for a home’s inhabitants to track dirt and debris inside as well. After vacuuming or sweeping floors, go over them with a mop. Doing so can remove any lingering dust, dirt, debris, and allergens the vacuum or broom failed to pick up. Apply wood cleaner and polish to wood floors to make them look even cleaner.

Baseboards
Though baseboards might not seem all that dirty, upon closer inspection homeowners might notice substantial accumulations of dirt and dust. Such dirt and dust many not be removed so easily, so homeowners might need to use hot water and a sponge to remove any debris that is clinging.

Curtains
Curtains also may have absorbed substantial amounts of dust, dirt and debris over the winter. This might be more visible near the end of winter when more sunlight begins to shine through. Clean the curtains in adherence to the manufacturer instructions before you open windows for the season so any wind that blows in does not spread debris onto nearby furniture. Once the curtains have been washed, opening windows may help them dry more quickly.

Bathrooms
Bathrooms also tend to bear the brunt of winter weather, as mold and grime can accumulate throughout a season in which it’s too cold to open bathroom windows to let fresh air in after bathing. Inspect ceilings, tubs, shower stalls, and floors for any signs of mold growth or grime. Mold growth in a home can lead to respiratory problems and exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma, so it’s best to inspect bathrooms for any signs of mold growth throughout winter. If you have let that slip, prioritize such inspections come spring cleaning time.

Furniture
It’s easy to overlook furniture when tackling spring cleaning, but dust and dirt can quickly accumulate on couches and chairs over the course of winter. When possible, vacuum furniture to remove any debris that might have accumulated while windows and doors were kept shut, and shampoo any cushions or seat covers that don’t pass the smell test.
Spring cleaning encompasses a host of tasks, and homeowners who want a truly clean house should not overlook smaller tasks that can produce big results.