Did You Know? October is National Window Covering Safety Month

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This October, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council are teaming up again to alert and educate people on the danger posed by window coverings. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission window coverings are one of the top hazards in the average American home. Alongside tipping furniture and open swimming pools, windows made the list because of the risk of strangulation posed by dangling cords. Fortunately, eliminating the risk is a quick fix for most households. Installing cordless window coverings or even motorized Hunter Douglas window treatments are safe alternatives that also look great.

The Problem

The danger is not usually with the coverings themselves, but the cords used to raise and lower the covers. While those dangling loops may be, at best, an innocuous afterthought for an adult, they can be tempting playthings for toddlers and pets. Much like dangling mobiles placed above cribs, children will reach for loose cords. This presents a serious strangulation hazard.

The Quick Fix

For concerned readers, the best option is to invest in cordless window coverings or motorized Hunter Douglas window treatments to eliminate the cord altogether. These safe alternatives come in a range of styles to fit any home. But if, for some reason, a person is unable to change their window treatments, there are a few quick fixes that can reduce the risk to young children. Start by moving any cribs or children's beds away from windows with loose cords. Keeping the tether out of reach will reduce the temptation. For low window sills or other areas that children can reach from the floor, get a small cleat to tie up the loose end. In a pinch, a person can take the cord and wrap it up in a bow or other knot out of reach from children and pets.

The Permanent Solution

Fortunately, the window covering industry has been working vigorously to address the danger posed by some products. The Window Covering Safety Council has created warning tags and labels that clearly communicate the potential dangers of loose window cords. More importantly, innovation in form and function has eliminated the need for dangerous dangling cords. Today's consumers have more options than ever with cordless window coverings that are safe and look great.

Looking to improve the look and safety of your home with motorized or cordless window coverings? Visit Speedwell Design Center today.

October 26 2016 Read More

Window Shutters Are Your Perfect Home Improvement Solution!

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Looking to change up the window decor in your home, but concerned about the cost? Window shutters are the perfect solution! They're fashionable but timeless, meaning their elegant look will never go out of style. Plus, they're cost effective — reasonably priced to begin with and you’ll save money over time thanks to lower heating and cooling bills. On top of those savings, you'll even increase the resale value of your home. How so? Window shutters are the only window dressing the IRS recognizes as an equity booster. See a variety of shutter options at our Speedwell Design Center! Picking your shutters is easy! You'll decide which material is right for you, match the shutters to your home's style, and then enjoy for years to come.

Choose Your Material

With such a huge assortment to choose from, we know you'll find the best window shutters for your house. For traditional, top-of-the-line shutters, go with our classic Hunter Douglas Heritance option. Made of real hardwood and constructed with Truemill dovetail construction, these shutters offer a beautiful look with maximum strength and durability. If hardwood isn't what you're looking for, consider our Hunter Douglas NewStyle hybrid shutters. Blending the look of hardwood with the resilience and affordability of man-made materials, these shutters are a polished solution for any home. Finally, for homes in more extreme climates, we have Hunter Douglas Palm Beach Polysatin shutters, made from a UV-resistant vinyl material. Guaranteed to stand up to the most adverse weather conditions, these hearty shutters are an excellent option for improving your home.

Customize

No matter which option you choose, you will love your new window shutters! All three varieties are available in a range of colors and styles: paints, stains, and even color matching. We can custom design shutters to match your entire home. Come into our showroom, and our expert designers will help you pick out the perfect shutters to upgrade all your windows.

Enjoy Your Shutters!

Once chosen, your shutters will be installed by a Hunter Douglas Certified Installer, to ensure exceptional service. From the moment they're put up, you'll fall in love with your new window shutters! They're easy to use, easy to maintain, and built to last. In fact, your Hunter Douglas window shutters come with a lifetime guarantee, so we know you'll be satisfied with them for years to come. Take it from our customers! Read some testimonials and imagine how happy you'll be once you've upgraded your home. Also take a look at our inspiration gallery to get ideas, and watch this video to learn why Hunter Douglas shutters are the best choice for you! Come on down to our showroom today. Browse through our vast selection, take in some expert advice, and learn just how great window shutters will look in your home. With Speedwell Design Center by your side, you can't go wrong!
October 25 2016 Read More

How to Choose the Best Finish for Your Wood Flooring

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Wood flooring can create a huge visual impact in your home. It can make a space feel warm, open, even luxurious. It can also help reduce allergens in the home. However, choosing a finish for your wood floor is crucial to maintain its appearance and to protect the wood from scratches. There are many different types of finish, so how do you know which one is right for you?

First, you need to know if your wood floor has already been treated. Some finishes cannot be applied on top of certain products, so it's important to know what has already been used on the wood. This is also useful information when you are choosing cleaning products for your floor. If you are purchasing a new floor, the manufacturer should provide information about any treatments or finishes that are added during production. If you have a home with an existing wood floor, ask the previous owner. If that's not an option, there are tests you can perform to tell you what finishes may have been used.

Types of Finishes

- Polyurethane is the most popular finish for wood floors. It is available in both water-based and oil-based formulas. Oil-based polys are best for high-traffic areas, are more affordable, and have an amber glow many people admire. However, their strong fumes and longer drying time may be a concern. Water-based polys dry with a clear finish, have less fumes, and are more environmentally friendly. However, they are nearly twice as expensive, and the faster drying time means you must work quickly.

- Wax was one of the most commonly used finishes before polyurethane became available in the 1970s. It is less durable than a poly and requires regular upkeep. However, if you are looking for an eco-friendly finish for your wood flooring, wax may be your best solution. It is applied by hand in small areas at a time and is available in both a paste and a liquid. Polyurethanes cannot be applied on top of a wax finish.

- Shellac is another finish that used to be very popular. It is also not very durable, but it is easy to work with and inexpensive. However, a floor that has been finished with shellac can not be refinished with poly or other modern products. It can only be redone with another shellac or with wax.

- An acid-cured, or Swedish, finish is extremely durable. It dries in as little as two hours, but it can take up to 60 days to be fully cured. It is an expensive option and requires a professional to apply.

- Oil finishes are easy to apply yourself, but they are not as durable as polys. They are made from tung oil, which is non-toxic. Oil finishes should be reapplied every two or three years.

With this knowledge, you should be able to decide which finish is right for you and your wood flooring. The right finish will give your home a look that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. Visit the Speedwell Design Center showroom to see our huge flooring selection and to talk to our design experts.

October 11 2016 Read More