The right treatment can make a WORLD of difference to any room, structure, door or installation! Transforming your space can be as easy as selecting the right treatment.  Today, with so many styles of blinds and shades to choose from, finding the right one for your needs isn’t always a quick open-and-shut deal. Here, we’ve gathered our best advice to help you see your way through the process. Here at the Santa Barbara Design Center, we do indoor and outdoor treatments. Treatments are a grand focal point in any room. They can be used to divide, enhance, privatize or decorate any structure, room, window or doorway.  Now you can dress up a room in hundreds of ways without making a major investment. Window treatments are the FINALE in any home decor. They are like the icing on the cake!

            How much light and privacy do you need? Decide whether you want your room/office or outdoor space bright and airy or more “buttoned up” and cozy. Is your goal to block out light for a snug sleep in the bedroom or hang a sheer fabric in your kitchen that lets the sun shine in over your farmhouse sink? Are the windows you’re covering near the front door or facing the sunny side of the house? Are you mulling over creating an artful outdoor space for holiday gatherings and events? All of these factors will influence the styles and fabrics you choose. Which brings us to that age old question of “What’s the difference between shade and a blind?” Let’s start with Shades.


Oh, they’re back.  But in an even better way!

           If you’re looking for tremendous versatility and style, shades are the answer.  They provide more ways to create different looks and moods using texture, pattern, and fabric weight. Gone are the days of loud, hinge styled shades that get tangled left, center, back, front and sideways. Today you have oodles upon oodles to choose from. From honeycombs with top down bottom up features that allow you to view your exteriors, to exterior shades, and remote controlled roman shades, blinds and shutters, the list simply goes on and on. The shades you choose today reflect the mood and lighting for a room. If you have a living room with a solid wall of windows looking out onto a lush garden, you may want to go light and airy with a hidden white black out for those days where you need a bit privacy. A nice combination could be to mix a nice CONRAD SHADE with a classic window treatment. Notice the earthiness of the rug married into the window design, giving it a sleek, clean pulled together look.–custom-curtains-living-room-curtains.jpg

For a more open, simple look for summer, just go with a CONRAD shade.–kitchen-doors-sliding-glass-door-kitchen.jpg


        Fun or formal, curtains and drapes are often the unsung heroes of interior design. Not only do they filter out harsh light and set the tone of the room but they shadow the watchful gaze of your neighbor. Here in Santa Barbara, where the scenery and weather is breathtaking all year round, most people have one foot on the patio and the other inside their home.  Santa Barbarians tend to use fabric modestly to invite the outdoors in. Whether you seek a gauzy, romantic look that lets in the breeze from your deck, or something with insures some serious light-blocking ability for a good night’s rest, you will be able to today more than ever to find a solution that suits your needs. Before you make a selection, you’ll want to make sure you have carefully considered all of the following: color, fabric, type of hardware needed to mount the curtains, and the shape and size of your windows. All of these different options will play into the selection that you make. A few considerations to mull over when selecting the color or pattern of your drapery would be:

— If you have a solid rug with solid color furnishings you can go bold with the colors and patterns. Layering soft linen tones on a multi rod system is a beautiful way to bring light into the room.–layered-curtains-sheer-curtains.jpg

— Silk Organza and Shimmer Metallic with unlined sheer panels look beautiful as a second layer or on their own in a room that does not require much privacy or light filtering.

— For a more luxurious look,  puddle your fabric on the floor by adding 10 inches to the height measurement. This works especially well with Dupioni Silk and Cotton Velvet. Puddling is not recommended for drapery that will be opened and closed often, or in rooms with a lot of traffic, as the drapery can get dirty.

                                                      FULL or STREAMLINED?

        If you would like a simple, streamlined, simple tailored look, measure for your desired fullness and use the exact window width for a tailored look, using just enough panels to cover your window with fewer folds. For a FULLER look: use wide panels and or many additional panels to create more folds. A good idea would be to multiply by two, for a slightly full window, or by three for a dramatic full look. Once you determine the above measurement, add another two to eight inches to allow the end panels to extend a little bit beyond the window. This will ensure there are no gaps at the sides.


      Outdoor drapery is now being used in a big way. Here is Santa Barbara, residents pay as much attention to their outdoor spaces, as the do to their indoor spaces. Some even go as far as including their DOG BEDS in the design!

Indoors and outdoors drapery are often used to divide a space without a renovation.  Here at the Santa Barbara Design Center we design treatments, pillows, shades, shutters and blinds to compliment any installation – yes – even doggie beds! Notice how this below treatment gives enough protection to bring indoor furnishings and furniture outdoors. The contrasting, soft, checkered, shag rug brings the entire area together. Here at Santa Barbara Design Center we have an array of Indoor/Outdoor area rug options to help make this and many other looks happen.

Have you run out of space for entertaining? It may be right in your back yard! A nice way to create a new space using an old structure with new curtains and no renovation can be something like this.


      Of all window treatments, shutters are the most low maintenance. If you want longevity, privacy and a classic style, then go with Wood Shutters. Wood Shutters are will last a lifetime and they marry well with ALL decors, regardless of how often you change you change it.  Shutters offer more then any other treatment. They’re amazing for home energy, increase the value of your home and incredible furnishing protectors. Here at the Santa Barbara Design Center, we choose Norman. Why? Because they’ve been around the longest, are the safest, most esthetically pleasing and offer the longest warranty.


        When purchasing blinds, you want to find not only an esthetically pleasing option, but one that provides both privacy and protection from light.  Many of our clients use blinds in situations where furniture protection is imperative.  We recommend Norman Blinds because of their Smart Privacy feature. They’ve perfected slat alignment and invisible rote holes that help to alleviate light leakage.  Norman Blinds are also popular for home offices where you need to cut out computer glare.  Norman’s exclusive system glides seamlessly with no tugging required, plus slats  won’t fall out, ensuring years of trouble-free use.  Norman’s Wood blinds come in light and dark hues and polished or painted finishes — their GH line ranges from white Country Cottage to rich Peruvian Walnut — and they’re perfect for offices and dens. Norman Blinds are the safest on the market – an important feature to consider is Norman attention to child safety. Every year, many injuries occur because children and pets get tangled up in the cords of blinds. Norman’s  patented device is a foolproof solution to provide a safe environment for your family.

      Whichever installation treatment you choose, have fun, don’t be afraid to make creative choices!


Why we choose Conrad Shades at the Santa Barbara Design Center.

Thomas Kinkaid, known best for being the “Painter of Light.” said, “A home with warmly lit windows is a place for the heart.”  I have to agree. When light filters through a Conrad Shade, it’s magic.  There are no competitors in the market who match their meticulous attention to the details of their design. It’s no surprise, that they’ve earned a loyal clientele over the decades who refuse to use any other shade. If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a Conrad Shade, meander through the hillside of the Pacific Palisades and you will be blown away by their absolute beauty  gracing the windows. They’re timeless, they’re elegant and they’re forever.  Conrad shades are made of select natural fibers, each woven by hand with meticulous attention to the details of design and craft that bring a look of natural elegance to public and private settings.  Yes, they are expensive but they have earned it. The process involved is like no other. After the fibers are nature grown, the materials are harvested, and sun dried on the beaches. They are then  hand-tied by the villagers, and bundled off to other parts of the Far East to be handwoven. All this is labor intensive and there is no substitute. Conrad shades offers roman shades, custom drapery, cornices, a Sliding Panel Shade System, and a line of drapery designed for outdoors living spaces. Conrad Shades are eclectic enough to work dynamically across all design setting. This is why we choose Conrad the the Santa Barbara Design Center.

The 10 Best Ways To Update Your Home


  1. LET THE SUN SHINE IN!  Dark is dreary and dreary is depressing.  Remove tired heavy treatments and replace them with light linens, silks or Norman Shutters to let the light shine in! Shutters are beloved by all – even the most discerning tastes. They increase the value of your home, conserve energy and give the room a clean, sophisticated look. Shutters come in an array of value points. Wood shutters are the most common shutters on the market. Wood shutters come in a variety of patterns that can help create the look you are seeking on the outside of your home. If you choose to use wooden outdoor shutters, they must be maintained properly for them to last. Composite shutters provide a great alternative to wood shutters. These shutters, which are virtually maintenance free, are custom manufactured from state-of-the-art PVC and thermally stable fiberglass. Vinyl shutters are the most reasonably priced shutters on the market. They are lightweight, easy to install and readily available in most home centers or even online. Most people use the shutters in the most moist areas of their home. And lastly for those of you who are concerned about hurricanes or tornadoes, you may want to invest in storm shutters. These aluminum shutters protect glass from high winds and blowing debris. Storm shutters are available in several different types.
  2. MAKE YOUR WALLS POP!  Give your home a fresh look with paint. You can hire a pro or invite some savvy friends over to help with the facelift. Remember.. clean palette. Select one wall in the room and pop it with a fresh new color. It seems obvious but a clean coat of paint can take a room from drab to fab.
  3. SAY BUH-BYE TO BULKY FURNITURE. Trust me- you don’t need it. The only reason you have it is because you probably use it to hide all the things you’re tired of looking at! When was the last time you even looked inside? Admit it, you’re afraid! Here’s an idea.  Donate what’s now occupying it to your favorite charitable organization. But if you’re truly attached and can’t part with it —   consider painting it a warm off-white color— this will help it “disappear” into the room, tricking the eye to think the space is more airy and open.
  4. WHAT DOES YOUR SOFA SAY ABOUT YOU REALLY?   I get it – sometimes the style and lines of your current furniture become so familiar that you just can’t stand the idea of parting with and well quite frankly, it has becomes part of the family. You may have even named at this point. In this case, reupholstery will breathe new life into it – making it possible to continue using for many more years. Another great plus point of reupholstering the old geezer is that our team of experts will help you select specific fabrics that are tailored to your lifestyle requirements – this means that your reupholstered sofa will hold up a lot longer than a brand new suite. If your sofa is used a lot, then you’ll need more hard-wearing fabrics than you would need on an arm chair that is hardly used. Our team will consider all kinds of lifestyle factors to ensure that your reupholstered sofa is of the best possible quality.
  5. IF FLOORS COULD ONLY TALK. They’d say get all this stuff off of me! Hardwood floors are a classic choice for bedrooms, as they add both beauty and value to a home, but if you can’t see them – what good are they? Your gorgeous wood floors should be complimented sparingly by rugs that compliment both them and the room. Assess your present rugs. Are they worth cleaning? Times are changing and tired old dark rugs have become a thing of the past. Here at the center our clients balance classic balanced furnishings with Rugs with motifs that pop and add dimension to the room.
  6. DID SOMEONE SAY GOOD NIGHT? What kind of vibe is your bedroom giving? Who doesn’t like slipping into a peace filled suite? Everyone loves their bedroom – make yours amazing! Over any other room in the home, the bedroom requires a comfortable and calming feel no matter what style is being employed. It is the room where you begin your day and the room where you end your day. It is essential in any home to make the bedroom the personal centerpiece. Select warm cozy fabrics and pillows that stand the test of time. If you are allergic, replace all your down with synthetic fibers.
  7. I CAN’T FIND MY KEYS! Maybe you can’t see them because there’s no LIGHT! Ambient lighting is an amazing way to give your room the WOW factor. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold over your favorite furnishings – especially where you read, eat or delve into your favorite art project. Light should be soft but should fill the room peacefully and pop objects you would like to feature. Get rid of the dusty old brass lamps and replace with lights that shimmer and GLOW.
  8. IS THAT PLANT.. UGH.. DEAD? You are much better off investing in beautiful artificial plants then having a bunch of half dead plants lying around. I think we can all agree that both live and artificial indoor plants have a role to play in this world, depending on where you want to put them and what you want them for. But one thing is for certain,  artificial plants do have a lot of obvious benefits. Aside from a bit of dusting every now and then, they need no maintenance, are robust, and can sit even in the darkest corner of your office or home. What’s more, where you may not be able to have the live plant you had your eye on because the location is too dark/light/cold/hot, your artificial plant can go anywhere and still look good. If you worry about the environment and live in California where water can be an issue, artificial plants are a nice option.
  9. WHO’S HOUSE IS THIS?  “An entry door painted a bold shade of black says ‘I’m serious, cool, friendly, fun-loving and classic, while a red door says, “I take risks!”  What does your door say? Does it even look like your home? If not, repaint it a shade that personifies your personal statement. Maybe you’re an environmentalist – love to help out in your community? Go for it and paint it a nice shade of green.
  10. MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL WHO’S THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL? You are! Now that you all of your walls are freshly painted and your windows are sparkling, it’s time to re-hang your priceless treasures. Wait a second. Do I detect a glimmer of hesitation? Ha! Let me guess… You’ve fallen in love with your beautiful abode all over again and may not feel so inclined to hang up all of your well worn treasures. What’s that number for Good Will again? Maybe you should give them a call. Welcome to your new home!

Why Shutters?

                                                             Why Shutters?

Shutters are a highly effective way to keep your home cool. As far back as the 1700’s, before the invention of glass windows, shutters were the primary method used on plantations to make life bearable in the harsh summer heat. Before the light bulb, house shutters allowed the ideal amount of sunlight into one’s abode

In England, narrower louvre shutters were popular and grew in popularity to New England (the north east region of North America) and became known as colonial shutters. In coastal areas known for hurricanes, shutters were often referred to as ‘hurricane shutters’ because they helped protect windows and homes from these tropical storms.

Jumping forward into today’s society, people use shutters for an array of different reasons including style, privacy and design but most importantly – energy efficiency. By keeping your shutters down during hot and cold times of the year, you can prevent energy loss through your doors and windows and it limits and often eliminates the need for air conditioning entirely. In Santa Barbara County, you will notice it the first choice above and beyond standard air conditioning.

At the Santa Barbara Design Center  we recommend Norman Shutters and Blinds. They’re the industry leaders in building shutters and blinds that stand the test of time. They use the finest materials and hardware components from top to bottom and employ the most advanced manufacturing practices from start to finish. As industry experts, we know how important it is to maintain top performance and protect your investment, therefore we recommend Norman Shutters and Blinds.

Stage your Home like a Pro!

Stage your Home like a Pro!

It’s party time! Invite your friends and enjoy the process.

Begin by making an honest assessment of what you’ve gathered throughout the years and figure out what you can or can’t part with. Do you really want to bring along the 50 pounds of baby toys you’ve accumulated for the past 15 years? Exactly. A nice way to get real quick is to gage your move at around a $1.00 a pound. You read my mind – DONATE. Doing your own home staging, can increase the sale price of your home and save you a ton of money when you move. It should take you around a month – if you’re diligent and two if you’re a slacker. The good way to begin by inviting a few savvy designer friends over for a home staging party. After everyone has hunkered down with a few snazzy appetizers and a glass or two of their favorite bubbly, give them each a note pad and ask them to give you an honest assessment of what should stay and what should go. Compare the lists and get rid of the popular vote. You can donate it, sell it or give it away. If you are going to sell it, immediately take photos of your items and post them on an online marketplace such as

Once you get rid of all of your unnecessary objects, it’s time to attack the home office. Get rid of everything that you no longer need such as; ancient receipts, magic markers, kids crayons – you get the picture. Throw it away. You won’t miss it, I promise. Purchase decorative folders and organize your office. Scale down. Remember at a dollar a pound – do you really want to move old paper and junk to your new home. Organize your family photos and put them in clean binders or send organize them online;…/best-photo-organizing-softw…/

Next stop your kitchen.

“But Babe, I like my fifty five – sixteen ounce tailgate player cups.”
“You’re mean.”

Be ruthless. Hit every drawer and cabinet and throw away all plastic and or toxic utensils and pots or pans. If you’re unsure, this is a great article.…/dangerous-kitchenware-lurking-in-y…
In addition to removing hazardous cookware, toss chipped all your chipped plates and anything that is not esthetically appealing even if your grandmother bought it for you. No guilt trips – keep only pristine objects you’re proud of.

“No honey I really like that!”
“What is it?”
“I have no idea…”

The next place you should venture is into your closets. Bring along a box of plastic bags. Fill the bags with anything you haven’t worn in six months, doesn’t fit or looks like it needs to retire. Get rid of all those wire hangers and hang your finest on velvet rods. Now it’s time to donate! A few great places to consider are; www.bluejeansgogreen.orgwww.unityshoppe.org…/donate-clothes-beauty-produ…

Hit the walls running!
Take down all of those heavy wall treatments and let the fresh air in! Replace the heavy wall treatments with Shutters or Blinds. Fresh and clean!

Remove everything from your walls. Party time! Invite friends and family over for the ultimate paint party. Blast Madonna and patch and paint every wall like a rock star to a white satin finish. Don’t drink if you’re using ladders! You can also pop a wall or two with a pretty color.

Get Creative!
Rehang only your finest art. Throw away old pillows, box your family photos and clear all objects from your tables by donating or boxing and marking them. Do this room by room. Change duvets to solid colors and pop with some colorful pillows. Hit the bathrooms and throw away all old medicines, shampoos and products you no longer use including old towels and replace with fresh, clean white linen. At this stage in the game you should be on your way. There’s one caveat here…

Once you’re done, you may no longer want to move.

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.