Hunter Douglas Wood Blinds - Top Choices for the Home and Office
By Laurel R. Lindsay

When it comes to window treatments, Hunter Douglas wood blinds easily come out as the top favorites. Hunter Douglas offers a wide range of options and one can choose specific design and style that seamlessly blend with the interior décor of the home or office. If you are looking for a great selection of light blockers, then wood blinds are definitely one of your best picks.

Homeowners and interior designers normally go for sheer or opaque wood blinds for their added value and aesthetic appeal. This light blocking window treatment options are favored by many for the serenity and comfort they provide. This type of blinds is highly favored by a lot of people as they provide the highest level of protection and inject natural warmth and elegance to the overall home design.

Hunter Douglas wood blinds come in different materials, textures, color, orientation and shades. These types of window fashions can also be customized to match the interior design and style of your home or office. If you want to give the elements in your design your unique signature, then your logical choice will definitely have to be wood blinds.

Here is the list of your top choices:

  • Alustra Woods - These wooden blinds epitomizes elegance. They are made from the finest Basswood and North American Ash hardwood and crafted with unmatched precision. It features the proprietary pulley system known as Retro-lift and comes with a wide range of premium tape styles that include natural designs, stripes and solids.
  • Country Woods Expose - These high-end wood coverings are known for their furniture-grade finishes. Its unique grooved slat shapes set it apart from the other wood blinds and light-blockers by Hunter Douglas. It is an ideal natural accent to your interior design as it gives depth and character to your home décor.
  • Country Woods Genuine Woods - This variant from the Country Woods selection is made from the finest NA hardwoods such as genuine cherry and oak and evokes the old tradition and classical Hunter Douglas. Its elegant finishes are meant to last and it is resistant to fading, scratching, moisture and other causes of daily wear.
  • Country Woods Select - This Country Woods variant by Hunter Douglas is made from Eastern White Pine and is popularly known for its fine grain patterns, natural colorations and knots. It evokes rustic and elegant charm and is resistant to fading, scratching, moisture and other causes of daily wear.
  • Country Woods Classics - This Hunter Douglas wood blinds from the Country Woods collection features Basswood slats that are either stained or painted in 35 different choice colors. This Hunter Douglas window treatment comes in 3 different slat size categories. It also boasts of long term protection from fading, scratching, moisture and other causes of daily wear.
  • Country Woods Reflections - This window treatment by is known for its trademark beveled slats that come in a wide array of colors. This premium window treatment from the Country Woods collection combines the convenience that is associated to wood blinds with the beauty and charm of wood shutters.
  • Crosswinds Wood Vertical Blinds - This vertical blinds are one of the top favorites from the Crosswind selection. It offers both functionality and beauty and boasts of a seamless mix of contemporary ingenuity and elegance. This is the ideal choice for rooms with a combination of doors and windows.

Learn more about Hunter Douglas Blinds Calgary:

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Benjamin Moore's 2011 Color Forecast
By Donna Dazzo

In home staging, we like to stick to a neutral color palette so that we can make the home that's for sale appeal to the broadest range of buyers. However neutral does not have to mean boring.

I love to use pops of color (red, turquoise, orange, greens, blues) in throw pillows, artwork and decorative objects against the more neutral background colors (beige, grays, whites) in the furniture, bedding and walls.

Even so, I love to see what colors the major paint companies forecast to be THE colors for the upcoming year.

Benjamin Moore's color designers are forecasting vintage wine (2116-20) as their Envision Color 2011's Color of the Year. According to Benjamin Moore's website: "First seen on the fashion runways of New York, Paris, and Milan, this rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet is just as magnificent in the home. As an undertone in many of the latest wood finishes, leathers, and other textiles, vintage wine, and its lighter variations, will make a great paint color pick for many applications over the coming years. From deep smoky wine to wildly pumped up fuchsia, purple promises to be a predominant color in home decor in 2011."

Forecasted Colors for 2011

In addition to their Color of the Year, the Benjamin Moore color team also comes up with a palette of colors they are forecasting for the coming year. The color team reviews cultural, social, and political conditions and looks at how they affect fashion and design trends. Their analysis led to a central Balance theme with three related "style movements" - Soulful, Spirited and Dreamy. Each of these style movements were then defined by six Benjamin Moore colors.


Communications technology has drawn the global cultures closer. What may have seemed strange now appears familiar to us. On the style front, this is visible in ethnic designs, pattern-on-pattern, and handmade decoration such as beading and embroidery. Colors that reflect this include Benjamin Moore's:

  • Vintage Wine 2116-20
  • Wasabi AF-430
  • Amulet AF-365
  • Casco Bay 2051-30
  • Hush AF-95
  • Etruscan AF - 355


By spirited, this means anything that makes you feel happy, joyful, and playful. In fashion and furnishings it's reflected in designs featuring geometrics, stripes and cubes, and dots and curlicues. Loud and bright colors are balanced with gray, black and white. Benjamin Moore colors comprising this palette are:

  • Royal Flush 2076-20
  • Grape Green 2027-40
  • Wrought Iron 2124-10
  • Paper Mache AF-25
  • Storm AF-700
  • Lucerne AF-350


From a design perspective, dreamy means transparency, sheerness, blurriness and softness. The Benjamin Moore colors that reflect this style or mood are:

  • Gray Mirage 2142-50
  • Genesis White 2134-70
  • Porcelain 2113-60
  • Etiquette AF-50
  • Kendall Charcoal HC-166
  • Smoke 2122-40

Each year Benjamin Moore announces their predictions for the upcoming year in a booklet that's free and available through the company's extensive network of stores. The booklet contains decorating ideas, photo illustrations, plus the forecasted palette of 18 colors for 2011.

Copyright 2010 Designed to Appeal, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Donna Dazzo is a home stager and interior redesigner serving New York City and the Hamptons. She founded Designed to Appeal ( in 2007 after a successful career in the financial services industry. Her experience in project management and marketing, combined with her lifelong passion for interior decorating and design, makes her a unique professional to help both realtors and home sellers sell homes faster and for top dollar.

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Painting Tips: How to Choose the Right Paint Brush

By Lackie E.

Selecting the right equipment and tools for painting tasks is very important so as to achieve best results. With the use of right brush for a certain project, one can be assured that the paint will be properly applied and the outcome will be good. Right tools are essential in painting works for they help you save time and effort when doing the job.

Today, the paint brush choices have grown massively. When you visit a painting shop or a hardware store, it will be hard to not to notice the different kinds of paint brushes displayed on their stock shelves. These brushes come in different brands, size and kinds. Sadly, the criterion of many people in choosing the right brush is the price rather than its quality. In the following paragraphs, tips regarding how to find the right brush will be given to help you pick the brush you need for your painting job.

Technically, painting jobs range from minutes to few hours and sometimes even days to finish; hence it is necessary that you choose paintbrushes that you're comfortable with. With this, when you go in search for paint brushes, be sure to try on its grip. Hold the brush like you're actually painting and feel if you're comfortable with the size of its handle and its weight. Don't forget to check if the metal ferrule is attached properly to the brush handle to avoid problems with painting.

It is also necessary to examine the brush bristles before buying the paint brush. Test the brush's bristles if they're fine by pressing is on the palm of your hand. It must spread out evenly and don't separate into clumps. Moreover, once you remove your hand, the bristles must return to its original look easily. When you are trying to decide among brushes with same width, choose the one with the longest and thickest bristles because it can hold more amount of paint.

There are two types of brush bristles: the synthetic brush bristles and the natural brush bristles. The synthetic brush bristles can be made of either nylon or polyester. Synthetic bristles are basically made to use in applying paints that are water-based primarily because they don't absorb water hence they do not go out of shape when used with water-based paints. The natural brush bristles uses ox hair thus making it fine and soft. This is the reason why paint is applied smoothly and evenly creating a uniform result. The downside with natural bristled-brush however is it absorbs water making it not suitable in painting projects using water-based paints.

Never to forget to consider your brush size or brush width when you purchase a paint brush. If you're going to paint a wall, a brush with bigger width will be great since it can cover and paint a bigger surface. Moreover, if you're going to paint narrow areas, small width brushes can help finish the task easily.

When you go out searching for paint brushes, you might find some square-end brushes. These brushes are ideal when painting flat and large surfaces as well as angled areas because they are easy to control. In addition, such type of brushes is also great to use when painting window trims, putting clear finishes and stains.

These are the things that you should look for when you are planning to purchase paint brushes. May this article was able to provide you with good information that can help you select the ideal brush for your painting needs.

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Looking for the right paint tools for your project?

Aboff's Paints supplies you with the paint tools you need. From a paint brush and roller, to sealers and painter's tape. Complete your project the right way, with help from Aboff's. Whether you're painting or staining... inside or out, find the right paint brush style at your neighborhood Aboff's store. 

Check our paint tools at any Aboff's Location.

Pick up a pack of AllPro brushes and rollers. 

Available at all our Aboff's Paints store locations.

 Visit our Paint Supplies page to learn more about AllPro.

Painting? Don't Forget the Paint Supplies

By Cathy Seiler

Whether you are painting your home, or working on your own personal artistic masterpiece, it's easy to forget the basic items needed beyond the paint that will result in a successful and great looking project. Before you start your project, sit down and make a list of all the paint supplies that you will need, so that you can compare prices, and make one trip to the store - not several.

Start with paint preparation; do you need to sand, scrape, or prime walls, edging, or rough spots? Inspect the entire painting area, and make sure it is clean, smooth, and free of cobwebs, dirt, and debris. If you are applying a lighter color paint over a darker one, or working on an unfinished wall, a primer may be needed to insure paint coverage and no bleed through. Spackle and patch any areas that are not smooth well in advance of painting so that the material has time to dry. A well-prepped paint surface makes a huge difference in how the finished project will look and what paint supplies you will need.

Next is paint application - do you have the proper brushes, paint sprayers, rollers, and paint supplies tools? If you have large surfaces to paint, you may want to consider an electrical paint sprayer that can spray paint quickly and evenly. If you choose to use a roller or brush, make sure that you consider the kind of paint you will be using. Brushes and roller covers are designed for different types of paint, and the best, most professional looking result will be obtained when you use the proper brushes.

Remember that the cheapest brushes and roller paint supplies aren't always the best when you're looking to obtain a professional finish, so compare cost versus materials. Cheaper brushes can often leave paint streaks, or lose their bristles while painting. If you are using rollers, don't forget the extra covers, extension poles, or the trays.

Ask yourself what kind of spill and clean-up materials will be needed. Stock up on plastic sheeting, tape, and drop cloths so that carpet and non-painted areas are well protected from accidental spills. Determine if you will be using tape or painting edges around window treatments, ceilings, and other non-painted surfaces. Professional painters pay strict attention to edges to ensure they are neat, and to make sure there are no accidental splatters. Paint cleaners for brushes and roller paint supplies are a must on your list. Also, don't forget your coveralls and other personal clothing protection!

Personal safety should not be forgotten when painting with dangerous paint supplies. Make sure you have ladders that are stable and usable, not broken. Respirators and dust masks should be used in unventilated areas and all areas should be well lit if you are inside. Put these items on your list if you don't have them.

By doing a bit of pre-planning and preparation, thinking about your painting project, and making a list of all paint supplies, you can limit your trips to the local home store or internet website. You can then be sure that you have all of the paint supplies that you need to ensure completion of a beautiful, professional paint project.

Cathy Seiler writes Paint Supplies articles for her website.

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Need to prep an old project for a new paint job?

Aboff's Paints carries a complete line of HYDE Tools, from wire brushes and spatulas to blades and scrapers - For a better finish, start with HYDE Tools!

Start your project off right by prepping with HYDE's wire brush or scraper.

Available at all our Aboff's Paints store locations.

Visit our Paint Supplies page to learn more about HYDE Tools.

Concrete Driveway Sealers

By Al Barnes

Sometimes areas around our houses that we see every day become invisible to use. If there isn't a current problem then we tend to keep it out of mind even though it may be in our vision every day. One area that you have probably never considered is your concrete driveway. Do you know what you should be doing to protect it from wear and tear? Maybe you should find out before it is too late.

Once the time comes to re-seal your driveway, it is a must that you check out the different options available. Many people will consider using epoxy based products but the standard kits do not work great on driveways because epoxies are vulnerable to radiation caused by UV rays. This leads to their early degradation. This means that the light coming from the sun can make the coating fail and come off. If you want a concrete driveway sealer, then you should check out the products that are based on acrylics and polyurea. For light traffic and pedestrians, the acrylic is a good choice but, if your driveway has to endure heavy traffic, you should go for the more expensive one which is based on polyurea.

One of the things to always remember when you are applying any type of sealer is that the sealer cannot function very well if the surface is not absolutely cleaned. An absolutely clean floor should have all dirt and grime swept up. Aside from this, it is a must that you remove any form of contamination caused by oils spots or stains on the concrete. Petroleum contamination is, in fact, the main reason why the concrete sealer fails to adhere because it mucks up the boundary so the coating cannot permeate and bond with the molecules of the concrete.

The best way to have an absolutely clean driveway is by first using a pressure washer to push away all the dirt and road grime. Then the next thing to do is apply a degreaser of good quality onto the surface. You can get these in powder form or liquid but the powder seems to scrub better. With the help of a stiff bristled floor broom, you next scrub the whole floor area and spend extra attention on areas where there are oil spots and stains. When you are done scrubbing the area with the degreaser, you use a power washer or hose to wash off all the leftovers. Then, you should let the floor become totally dry before you start applying the coating.

Be sure the concrete is dry and then you can roll out the coating using a ½" nap roller or brush. Once the product has been applied be sure to keep all animals and kids off of it for at 18 hours in order for it to cure properly.

Protecting concrete is important to the long term health of your driveway. Applying a good quality concrete driveway sealer can offer you the protection you need. For a good coating on your interior floor, check out the rustoleum garage floor coating. Find out why this product is great for your garage.

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Aboff's Paints not only carries paint for the interior of your house, we have specialty paints, sealers, varnishes and epoxies for all your needs.

Is your driveway cracking? 
Pick-up a container of VelveTop Driveway Patch and Crack Filler.

Available at all our Aboff's Paints store locations.

Visit our Exterior Paint page to learn more about VelveTop.

Protecting Your Concrete Floor From Damage With Epoxy
By Al Barnes

It is wrong to believe that your concrete floor is indestructible and that nothing can harm it. In reality, there are several things that can harm your floor to the point that it looks ugly. A lot of people think that they can just add on a concrete floor paint and they will achieve all the protection they wish to have. But this is not really correct. A paint or stain will only color the concrete surface and will not protect it

In fact, this thinking is wrong based on two points. First, a paint actually has no features to protect the surface of the floor and, secondly, this can really make the floor less safe because it increases its slickness the moment it becomes wet. The best way to achieve floor protection is by having an epoxy based product that will provide a good coating plus better protection against slips. This fall protection will occur if anti-slip additives are added on the floor surface before it cures completely. This may seem to be a lot of work but, in actuality, it is like rolling on paint. You just have to be careful when you clean the floor prior to the application so that the material will stick. In fact, this is true of any kind of paint. If the floor is stained with petroleum based products like oil, no material which is applied will stay down for long.

A highly recommended do-it-yourself kit of epoxy product is the epoxy shield garage floor coating. This product consists of everything you need so that you can have a great result when you are done coating your concrete floor. The first step is when the coating is rolled out on the surface using a nap roller. The next step is the application of anti-slip grit or paint flecks by spreading it on the surface before the coating cures completely. This addition allows you to achieve good footing even if oil or some other liquid from your car is unintentionally spilled.

The epoxy surface can be walked on after 18 hours of applying the coat but you should avoid driving your car on it yet. You have to wait for at least three days. If you are situated in a hot region, then it will be best if you wait for a week to lessen the chances of tire lift as you pull your car with hot tires inside the garage.

For more tips on choosing and applying an epoxy garage floor coating be sure to visit us at our website which is all about floors. You can learn everything you need in order to apply an epoxy based concrete floor paint that will offer you protection for years to come.

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Aboff's Paints carries a variety of interior and exterior painting and staining products. 

Do you need to seal your garage floor? We cater to the do-it-yourself handyman. 

Seal your own garage floor using Rustoleum's Epoxyshield.

You can pick it up at any of our Aboff's Paints locations

How to Clean Your Epoxy Floor?

By Jorge Ramos

Concrete usually takes the most abuse of any surface in the building. Floor maintenance is a process which is dependent upon the type of dirt and debris to which it is exposed, and the traffic conditions. However, like most surfaces, the condition your epoxy floor is kept, the longer it will last. Fine particles of dirt and grit are abrasive, so regular maintenance is crucial to your floor's longevity. Here in this article, we have covered few essential tips to make your place sparkle and look clean as a whistle. There are ways to clean your place easily and make it a job you will enjoy doing.

Surface Preparation

Make sure that you remove dirt, dust, and debris from epoxy floors. Clearing everything out of the concrete is a key to ending up with a high-quality epoxy-coated garage floor. Set aside a whole day for this job. Clean and degrease the concrete with a cleaner. It cuts through grease and grime easily. You can use it just about anywhere. It will make everything sparkle and shine in your office and home. Remove any trace of oil and allow the cleaner to sit for 2-3 minutes before scrubbing with a bristle brush. You must also rinse your floor at least twice to ensure it is free from grubby remnants of solids and contaminants. Let it dry completely.

Grease and Oil-stained Special Attention

Areas that have been greased should be cleaned at least twice with degreaser. It is preferable to apply hot water to the surface. If that may be enough to get rid of the surface from grease and oil even, you may need to use grit blaster.

Professional Help for Large Applications

One can apply an epoxy coating to smaller applications with the aid of helper. However, for large jobs, a commercial flooring expert with an experienced team can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Different Types of Dirt Require Different Cleaners

Some dirt and contaminants, like fats and oils, respond to alkaline-type cleaners while, some dirt and contaminants, like rust and minerals, respond to acidic-type cleaners. So, two separate cleanings may be required for the different types of dirt, followed by a good scrub rinse to stop the chemical action.

Not-to-Apply Soap

You should never use soap on epoxy floors. If you use soap, it will leave a film behind on the floor. This film can become very slippery when it is combined with water. Therefore, you should never use soapy water to clean epoxy floors.

Shield Your Epoxy Flooring From Too Much UV Rays

Epoxy coatings will fade a bit in excess ultra-violet rays, while other coatings tend to get brittle and crack. There are sealants available to help protect your floor coating from sun damage and, at the same time. You may need to reapply sealants every couple years to make your epoxy coatings strong and beautiful.

When you clean your floor you get a sense of pride that your place is pleasant to look at and that it is a clean for you and your family to live in. It also gives a sense of accomplishment. You always get people saying how you keep your epoxy flooring so neat and clean. Well you can give them a few tips on how you can keep a clean household and how to keep everything in its place. These are just a few ways to help keep your household in order and cleaner for you, your family and guest.

Outstanding Floor Group LLC offers exceptional services for all type industrial, commercial and retail concrete flooring. More to know about Concrete Stained Flooring and Concrete Stained Floor please contact us outstanding floor group Epoxy Flooring Florida @ 1-866-812-9319.

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Aboff's Paints offers a wide variety of specialty paints, sealers, and varnishes for your home project needs. 

Visit our Paints or Stains page to see which products are best for your home improvement project. Stop by one of our locations today!

Feng Shui and Home Exterior Paint Colors

By Robyn Bentley

What's the best color to paint the outside of your home? That depends on the compass direction at the back of the house. There are eight feng shui house types. The house type is determined by the "sitting" compass direction. The sitting direction is the direction at the rear of the house. The exterior color of a home should match the house type. If a house faces north, the sitting direction would be south. Compass directions are associated with one of the five elements of feng shui: water, wood, fire, earth and metal.

Painting the home the same color as the element of the sitting direction supports the home. Using a color that produces the element of the sitting direction is also supportive. For example, if the home sits south, fire is the element associated with south and red is the color of the element fire. What do you put on a fire when you want more fire? You add wood. Wood produces fire and green is the color of the element wood. So the best supportive colors for the exterior of a south sitting home are reds or greens. That doesn't mean you have to use fire engine red. There are many shades of these colors to choose from. Find the right color for your home below.

House Types and Colors:

  • Sitting south/facing north use reds or greens (fire or wood) 
  • Sitting southeast/facing northwest use greens or blues (wood or water) 
  • Sitting east/facing west use greens and blues (wood or water) 
  • Sitting northeast/facing southwest use earth tones or reds (earth or fire) 
  • Sitting north/facing south use blues, white or grays (water or metal) 
  • Sitting northwest/facing southeast use white, grays or earth tones (metal or earth) 
  • Sitting west/facing east use white, grays or earth tones (metal or earth) 
  • Sitting southwest/facing northeast use earth tones or reds (earth or fire)

Robyn Bentley is a feng shui consultant and author of Creating A Haven: Simple Steps For A Healthy And Nurturing Home. Her feng shui has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Canadian Living, First For Women, and Nirvana Woman. She offers feng shui consultations for homes and businesses both on site and long distance and can be reached through her web site

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Aboff's Paints carries a full line of Benjamin Moore products, including their line of environmentally friendly paint... Aura and Natura. 

Visit our paint products page to see more about Benjamin Moore's low VOC and odor-free paints.

Stop by one of our locations today to pick up your paint samples.

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