Category Archives for "Decor"

Best Bamboo Roman Shades For Lake House Windows

When looking for window treatments for your lake house windows, why not check out bamboo roman shades?

Bamboo roman window blinds have a timeless appeal, are inexpensive, and you can install them yourself.

Lake house window blinds made from bamboo create a warm, cosy and welcoming atmosphere for your family and friends.

Best Bamboo Roman Shades Review & Buying Guide

PRODUCT NAME

SUMMARY

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

Arlo blinds use natural woven wood and bamboo materials. It makes for a combination of rich textures and warm colors that add a sophisticated touch.

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

Chicology believes that you can have a classic style for your windows without having to spend a lot of money. 
Their cordless bamboo roman window blinds are a way to add a classic window treatment that is both durable and timeless.

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

Made from high-quality bamboo, these shades provide a semi-private light filtering shade, keeping harsh sunlight from damaging furniture or carpeting.

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

Made from durable, beautiful bamboo, these Letau wood shades will enhance the beauty of whatever room they are in. 

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Durable bamboo will filter the incoming light with a soft glow. These shades will also help reduce heat and damaging U.V. rays from the sun. 

Lake House Window Shades

The window coverings at your lake house should soften the glare of the sun, help reduce your energy costs and give you a level of privacy.

Wooden Rustic Window Shades

Bamboo is versatile, natural and the perfect choice for rustic window blinds that give an airy feel to any room and go with any decor.

We have put together a list of the best bamboo window blinds that are sure to add appeal to your lake house windows. 

Product Reviews

Arlo blinds use natural woven wood and bamboo materials.  It makes for a combination of rich textures and warm colors that add a sophisticated touch. 


Using the Dali Native cordless lift bamboo window shade, light filters gently through the natural woven bamboo. 


The innovative cordless lift system is easy to use and the safest of choices, especially in households with children or pets.


This is of special importance at your lake house, where you will have all ages visiting.


It allows for simple operation and an uncluttered look. You will be able to mount these shades either inside or outside the window frame.


If you choose to mount the shades inside the window frame, order the shade about ¼ inch smaller than your window's width.


Note, too, that the colors may vary slightly from what you see online. Bamboo, being a natural product, will be prone to variances in color. 

Features:


  • Intended for inside use
  • Cordless Lift Technology eliminates dangling cords
  • Mount inside or outside the window frame
  • Not intended as a privacy blind, but as a light filtration system
  • Color may vary from a mild greenish tint to a soft brown

We recommend using the How To Measure Your Window guide from Arlo before ordering. 

Chicology believes that you can have a classic style for your windows without having to spend a lot of money. 


Their cordless bamboo roman window blinds are a way to add a classic window treatment that is both durable and timeless. 


These bamboo window shades are a great way to introduce texture to the interior of your lake home. 


They will lend a natural, tropical, and relaxed vibe to any room you choose to place them in. 


Gently filtered light will offer semi-privacy and eliminate the glare of the sun. 


Perfect for use in your lake home or home office, these matchstick blinds can infuse your surroundings with a resort-type feel. 


The smooth functioning cordless design of Chicology bamboo shades offers peace of mind when little ones or pets are present. You will know that there is no danger of them becoming entangled in cords that could hurt them. 


The matching valance is in the same matchstick bamboo design.

Features:


  • Durable
  • Light filtering, and a semi-privacy blind
  • Can be mounted inside or outside window frame
  • Use indoors only
  • Twelve-month warranty and customer support
  • Safe and intuitive lift system for blinds

Radiance Dockside flat stick bamboo shades will add the perfect finishing touch to any room at your lake house that you choose to put them in. 


Made from high-quality bamboo, these shades provide a semi-private light filtering shade, keeping harsh sunlight from damaging furniture or carpeting. 


The textured natural shades in rich wood tones compliment almost all decors, especially hardwood floors and jute and sisal rugs. 


The Radiance flatstick bamboo window blinds give a warm and natural ambiance to any home. 


These shades are very popular with beach properties and lakeside cottages. They also look elegant in traditional homes and give a finishing touch to any room. 


Radiance gives a relaxed look to any room with a comforting semi-private light delivered from the bamboo shades. 
If you prefer a more darkening effect, you can attach a fabric privacy liner to the back of the natural shades. 


Features:


  • Cordless blinds raise and lower easily
  • Provides semi-private light control
  • Shades may vary slightly in color
  • Can be mounted inside or outside of window frame
  • For use indoors only
  • DIY installation

Made from durable, beautiful bamboo, these Letau wood shades will enhance the beauty of whatever room they are in. 


The wooden rustic window shades come with a six-inch matching valance that will gently filter light into the room. 


These roll-up wooden window shades blinds capture the natural essence of the bamboo to offer semi-private coverage of your windows. 


They are different from the roman shades, as the blind does not fold up against it itself when raised, but rolls up. 


For this type of blind there is a cord in use, so use caution with children or pets. 


Letau are the perfect rustic window blinds to give a cozy and welcoming feel to your lake house.  


Because the bamboo is a natural product, use them indoors only.  They come in eleven different color combinations. 

Features:


  • Comes with a six-inch valance
  • The manufacturer can customize the size
  • Pull cord blind that rolls up
  • Easy to install yourself

Durable bamboo will filter the incoming light with a soft glow. These shades will also help reduce heat and damaging U.V. rays from the sun. 


Easy to fold up or down, the cordless design is safer for children and pets. These bamboo shades have a woven pattern look to them, which adds to the shade's natural look and feel. 


Having wooden rustic window shades adds to the appeal of your lake home. 


Besides looking good, they will reduce heat from the sun’s glare and protect your furniture and artwork at the same time. 


The bamboo's warm tones and reed look nicely with any flooring type and blend well with almost all decor.


Features:


  • Has a seven-inch valance 
  • Can be installed yourself
  • Colors will vary slightly
  • Use indoor only

Walk Like An Egyptian And Cover Your Windows The Same Way, Too

The Egyptians were some of the first people we have a record of using reed blinds to cool the interior of their homes. 


They would also use wet cloths draped on the blinds to add to the cooling effect.  Ancient Eastern cultures used bamboo stickers bound together to cover window openings. 


We use bamboo blinds much in the same way that they did centuries ago. They provide shade, privacy, and add to the decor of our homes

The Origin of Roman Window Blinds

What about roman window blinds? How did they come to be? 


As the name suggests, Roman households were besieged with dirt and debris when dust from the Roman Colosseum construction began infiltrating their homes. 


During this time, from 70 to 80 A.D., the Romans would drape a wet cloth over their windows to keep the dirt out, along with the heat and the scorching sunlight. 


When this method was successful, they took it to the next level by incorporating colorful and ornate materials to embellish their windows. 


Roman Window Coverings Inspired the Colosseum

Upon completion of the Colosseum, it was a wonder to behold, but it was also unbearably hot in the upper seats.  


So these industrious Romans took the window covering idea and applied it to the upper seat area.  


They constructed huge awning-like shades with pleats and the predecessor of today’s Roman window blinds came into being.

The Predecessor of Roman Window Shades

The shades in the says of ancient Rome were a type of awning, but their system of ropes and pulleys used to move this flexible sunscreen were essential to the development of the Roman window blind in use today.


Bamboo Roman Shades

Roman window shades are different from a standard window shade that rolls up and down with a tube-like shape. 


Roman shades are both simple and elegant. When down, the blind will hang straight and flat. 


Roman shades will stack evenly upon themselves when opened


The Meeting Of Form And Function

With the Roman shade concept established, it was not long before the roman shade, and bamboo's marriage came to be. 


In the beginning, most Roman shades were made with various types of fabric and those are still available today.


The use of bamboo adds another dimension to the shade and makes it multi-functional. Roman blinds made using bamboo are both beautiful and functional.


Bamboo Is Both Beautiful And Strong

Beautiful Chinese baskets woven from bamboo give evidence of the practical benefits that this reed has. 


Screens, dividers, toys, tea boxes, lanterns, and furniture are a few bamboo uses. Its medicinal uses include fighting infection and alleviating coughs. 


More substantial than it looks, bamboo has been an essential source for fencing material and scaffolding. 


It is incredible to see how elegant and beautiful bamboo adorns our windows used in the building trade as Bamboo scaffolding.


Bamboo Is Also Food For Some

And as much as bamboo is a staple for a wide variety of uses, there is another member of the world whose survival depends on bamboo, and that is those adorable pandas! 

Bamboo Roman Shades

Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash
Pandas subsist almost entirely on bamboo, and depending on their size, will eat 26 to 84 pounds a day! 


Bambo Has Many Decorating Uses

Today, you can find bamboo in one form or another in most homes worldwide. Bamboo fibers create bedding and pillows, along with dish towels and cloths. 


Cabinets, furniture, utensils, and flooring, along with rugs and mats, are made with bamboo.


Bamboo is a veritable staple when it comes to decor and interior design. 


Its durability and elegant appearance make it the ideal material for window blinds.


One of the advantages of bamboo blinds made in the Roman style is that they go with any decor and give a natural look and richness to any room. 


Bamboo offers a light and airy feel to a room and filters light without blocking it completely and giving your living area a "shut-in" feel. 


The popularity of roman shades has not waned since the first pieces of material hung in Roman windows during the Colosseum construction. 


If something is functional, practical, suits the purpose, and adds both form and function to a living space, it never goes out of style!


Bamboo Is A Sustainable Natural Resouce

Not only are bamboo shades popular, but they are also practical.  Made from a sustainable natural resource, bamboo is renewable and grows rapidly. 


As a fast-growing grass, it does not need farmers to fertilize the crop. It also self-generates from its roots and so does not need to be replanted. 


You can feel good about using a bamboo product because it does not require, as cotton does, cultivation, pesticides, labor, or large amounts of water to grow. 


How To Clean Your Lake House Bamboo Blinds

A bamboo roman shade is easy to keep clean, too. A feather duster or a quick vacuum will get any dust off the blinds. 


If you feel that the blinds need heavy-duty cleaning, give them a dip in the tub. Just fill your clean tub with enough warm water to cover the blinds. 


Add a small amount of a natural oil soap product (like Murphy’s Oil Soap) to the water. White vinegar is another alternative. 


Use one cup of white vinegar to every gallon of water. Never use bleach on your bamboo blinds. It could damage the color and reduce the strings' integrity used to hold the blinds together. 


Place your blinds in the warm water and let them soak for a few minutes. Use a soft sponge or washcloth to remove any dirt or grime from the shades. 


Drain the water from the tub and rinse with clean, warm water. Hang your shades to dry in a well-ventilated space. 


If possible, hang them on a clothesline outside. You can rehang your blinds even when still partially dry, but don’t fold the blinds up until completely dry. 


Being a natural wood product, your bamboo blinds could get mold or mildew if you fold them up before they are completely and utterly dry.




Bamboo Roman Shades For Your Lake House Are Affordable

Besides being beautiful, functional, and practical, bamboo roman shades are relatively inexpensive.

They are not the least expensive way to add a window treatment, but they are still within most people’s budgets.

Depending on your window’s size, a standard-sized bamboo roman window shade can cost about $50.

If your window is larger, or if it is an unusual size, it will add to the price of the shade.

One way to help minimize the cost is by hanging the blind on the outside of the window frame rather than on the inside.

Hanging the blind inside the window will call for exact measurements. And, depending on your window, that could necessitate a custom size.

If you hung the blind on the outside wall that frames the window, you would not need exact measurements.


Bamboo Blinds For Your Lake House Cost Less Than Drapes

Depending on the supplier, materials, and installation costs, more often than not, blinds are less expensive than hanging drapes or curtains.

You will also be able to clean your blinds yourself, which would save on dry cleaning costs needed if you had fabric drapes.

Wood adds a natural warmth to the surroundings, and bamboo roman blinds are no exception.

The appeal of bamboo blinds is that their style never goes out of style! Variety of colors in bamboo blinds add to their appeal.

The natural wood makes a room feel more inviting and gives the windows a textural feel.

They can be a focal point in a room, or unobtrusive, whatever you choose them to be.

Bamboo Wooden Window Shades Add Texture To Your Lake House Windows

Bamboo blinds can come in matchstick shape or flat, which adds another dimension to the blind.

Thes rustic wooden window blinds are perfect if you would like a layered look on your window by adding drapes or curtains and are just as beautiful if you choose them as a standalone window covering.

Add A Privacy Liner To Wooden Window Shades To Keep More Light Out

The weave style of the blind will determine how much you can see through the shade.

If you use a thicker bamboo, less light will come through, and the more privacy you will have.

If you have a thinner grass weave type bamboo reed, it will allow more light through. Some bamboo roman shades allow for a privacy liner addition to the back of the blind.

They will come in an open weave style that does not let you see through the blind or blackout liners, which don’t allow seeing through the blind at all.


How To Install Bamboo Roman Blinds

You should be able to install your blinds yourself unless you prefer to have them done professionally.

Here is how you would go about installing both an inside and outside mount for your blinds from our helpful friends at Home Depot.

  Inside Mount


A screwdriver is all that is needed to install your shades, or for easier installation, you can use a cordless screwdriver or a drill with a 1/4-inch Hex head drill bit.

Before starting, carefully unpack your shades and mounting hardware. To familiarize yourself with the contents of your box, check the printed instructions included with your product.


READ Add A DIY Hand-Carved Wooden Sign To Your Lake This Summer


Begin your installation by positioning your mounting brackets 1 1/2 inches in from each side of your window along the top of the window opening.

Position your brackets, so they are aligned evenly at your desired mounting depth. Some prefer to mount their shades flush with the window opening, while others prefer to mount their shades closer to the window.

Lightly tap starter holes with a hammer and fasten the supplied screws for each bracket. Line up your brackets with the slots on the top of the shade.

Push the head roll up onto the brackets so that the threaded post on the brackets fit through the slots in the headrail.

Lift the valance and secure your shade using the enclosed wing nuts. Turn the wing nut clockwise until it is snug. Repeat on the right.

Finish by lowering and testing your new shade.

  Outside Mount


Woven wood shades are easy to install. A screwdriver is all that is needed to install your shades, or for easier installation, you can use a cordless screwdriver or a drill with a 1/4-inch Hex head drill bit.

Before starting, carefully unpack your shades and mounting hardware. To familiarize yourself with the contents of your box, check the printed instructions included with your product.

Begin your installation by marking a line with a pencil along the slots’ width located at each end of the shade. Place your brackets along the bottom of your pencil mark and lightly tap starter holes with a hammer.

Fasten each bracket with the supplied screws. Line up your brackets with the slots on the top of the shade. Push the head roll up onto the brackets so that the threaded post on the brackets fit through the slots in the headrail.

Lift the valance and secure your shade using the enclosed wing nuts. Turn the wing nut until it is snug. Repeat on the right. Cover each end of your headrail by using the included side flaps.

Finish by lowering and testing your new shade.




Roman Shades DIY

Number 1 

There are several Roman shades styles, and Jen shows you several types and how to make your relaxed Roman shade.

Number 2

Straightforward diagrams will help make this tutorial easy to follow. A nice feature of this project is that the material is removable laundering, which is a bonus!

Number 3

This is a tutorial for making a quick Roman shade. Very simple, this will cover a window for privacy purposes and look good at the same time.

Bamboo Roman Shades

Number 4 

Charlotte added DIY Roman shades over the built-ins at her home to block out light and add privacy to space. Because space didn’t need total privacy, she did not add a liner. However, Charlotte was kind enough to add a tutorial for a blackout version of this shade.

Number 5 

This fun tutorial shows how to add personality to your space. And Brooke is thrifty! She was able to make each of these Roman shades for right about $20 each. Follow her easy directions to put your stamp on your surroundings!

In Conclusion

Your good taste and relaxed, welcoming atmosphere are reflected in all that you do when choosing your lake house decor.

Your lake house window shades are not the least of these decisions, and incorporating bamboo roman shades will enhance your lake house windows for years to come!

  FAQ

How long will bamboo roman blinds last?

Bamboo blinds are exceptionally sturdy, and bamboo is one of the most durable raw materials that you can find. 

They handle continual sunlight quite well, which makes them more long-lasting than other materials.

Bamboo roman blinds should last decades when not subjected to moist conditions, like on an outdoor patio.

Will bamboo roman blinds color fade in the sun?

Being a natural reed, bamboo is resistant to fading from the sun. That doesn’t mean that it won’t fade at all, but it would take a long time in direct sun to do so. 

The back of the blinds are the most exposed area, so the blind’s interior will fare well. If you are concerned about fading, you could add a liner to your bamboo blinds.

How sensitive to humidity are bamboo roman blinds?

Bamboo is a natural material and will be adversely affected by continued moisture or humidity. 

Because of this, bamboo blinds will deteriorate if placed in outdoor areas such as deck or patios.  

If you wash your blinds, make sure they dry completely before leaving them in the open position. 

Best Lakehouse Backyard Patio String Lights

Best Lakehouse Backyard Patio String Lights

Backyard string patio lights are the ideal answer for lake house lighting to give a soft and welcoming ambiance.
If you need lighting ideas, backyard string lights are a way to get decorative lights that also put light where you need it without it being harsh and glaring.
Backyard lights can give light on the way to the dock or boathouse. They can be close enough to the fire pit without being intrusive.
From a safety standpoint, lights are essential to prevent accidents from happening and someone from getting injured.
And string lights do the job in a beautiful way. They emit a soft, pleasant light that gives just the right amount of illumination.
Unlike a stationary light on a building, string this outdoor lighting wherever you need them.
In a tree, along a fence, on the walkway to the front door, or on the ceiling underneath a deck.
We have put together a list of yard lighting that will very nicely solve the problem of your lake house yard lighting needs. 


The Best Lakehouse String Lights

The best lake house backyard string light is the Addlon LED Outdoor String Lights. They are waterproof and weatherproof with LED bulbs that will last 20,000 hours and bulbs that look like glass but will not shatter.


Here Is Our List Of Backyard Lights.

String Lights

SUMMARY

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

The perfect way to create both welcoming and dramatic lighting indoors or out, Brightown incandescent bulbs add a warm glow to any occasion.

Having soft lighting at your lake house is ideal on the deck or back patio.


Overall Rating - 4.7/5

The Addlon outdoor string lights have a retro look with their elongated bulbs. Place the fifteen lights on a 48-foot string outside your lake house with confidence.
These UL-listed lights are weatherproof. The insulating material can protect the lights from heat, wind, rain, or snow. 

Overall Rating - 4.6 /5

Edison type bulbs create a bistro vibe wherever you place these lights. The 27-foot string has 12 bulbs to light your way.
One of the advantages of these lights is that they are solar-powered. 

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

Another light string from Addlon, these are again Edison shaped bulbs, but the difference is that these bulbs are LED and shatterproof.
The bulbs do not look like they are plastic but look like glass, so you have the look without the hazard of glass. 

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

Incandescent bulbs in black casings are great to use for the holidays or any day at the lake!
There are fifteen glass bulbs in the 48-foot long string that is weatherproof. You will be able to connect up to two additional strings to the original set if you need more length.

Best Backyard String Lights


The perfect way to create both welcoming and dramatic lighting indoors or out, Brightown incandescent bulbs add a warm glow to any occasion.
Having soft lighting at your lake house is ideal on the deck or back patio.
Sitting by the water with just enough light after dark, Brighthouse string lights will take the edge off the darkness and give you enough light to see by, but not be harsh.
This 25 light string would be perfect under a patio umbrella or along the rail of the deck. You will be able to connect two more strings if you want a longer run.
Each of the twenty-five bulbs has a 1000 hour run life. If one light goes out, the others still work, which makes it nice.
There is a spare bulb included with this set and an additional fuse stored in the lead plug. Made from glass, these lights have a quality look and feel.
Once you get the lights strung outside just where you want them, you will be able to leave them up no matter the weather.
Weatherproofed Brighthouse string lights will withstand rain and dampness, perfect by the lake!

  •   25 foot string
  •   25 globe lights
  •    Incandescent
  •    Glass Bulbs
  •    5 watts per bulb
  •    Link three strands

The Addlon outdoor string lights have a retro look with their elongated bulbs. Place the fifteen lights on a 48-foot string outside your lake house with confidence.
These UL-listed lights are weatherproof. The insulating material can protect the lights from heat, wind, rain, or snow.
The Addlons' would look festive and inviting along a path down to the dock at the lake house.
Glass incandescent bulbs are distances about three feet apart on the string, and each socket has a handy hanging hook above.
The eleven-watt bulbs give just the right amount of illumination.
They light the way with a warm softness and are never harsh; the Addlon is both sophisticated and cheerful for wherever you choose to hang them, indoors or out. 

  •   48 foot string
  •   15 Edison lights
  •   Incandescent
  •  Glass bulbs
  •   11 watts per bulb
  •   Link five strands

Edison type bulbs create a bistro vibe wherever you place these lights. The 27-foot string has 12 bulbs to light your way.
One of the advantages of these lights is that they are solar-powered. No need to place them near an electrical outlet, just let the sun to the powering.
The Brightech Ambience Pro will last five to six hours on a full charge. Shatterproof bulbs allow you to place this string by the boathouse or along the dock.
Weathertite technology means Brightech can stand up to 50 mph winds, along with rain and snow.
The bulbs can also stand heat up to 122 degrees. Hopefully, an outside temperature we never see!
Each bulb has a ring on top to be able to hang wherever you decide to put it. You can place them a tree, on a swing, or the path to the hammock by the water.
The twenty-seven-foot string has bulbs placed every twenty inches. LED bulbs will last 20,000 hours and are a warm white.
The Brightech string lights come with a three-year warranty and will also help you troubleshoot any difficulties you might be having. 

  •   27 foot string
  •   12 Edison bulbs
  •   LED
  •   Shatterproof
  •   One watt per bulb
  •   Solar Powered

Another light string from Addlon, these are again Edison shaped bulbs, but the difference is that these bulbs are LED and shatterproof.
The bulbs do not look like they are plastic but look like glass, so you have the look without the hazard of glass.
The strand is 48 feet long, with 15 bulbs every three feet. These are the kinds of lights you could hang outside or inside at your lake house and forget about them.
The lights are on a heavy-duty cord that is flexible and thicker than other cords. UL listed as commercial weatherproof, you will be able to leave them outside year-round.
The Edison bulbs are retro enough to go with any kind of activity you might be planning. Barbecues, reunions, birthdays, or any type of celebration.
Wedding at a lake house are exceptionally beautiful. Those quiet, intimate dinners at the lake can be cozy as these lights are dimmer compatible.
If you have a larger area you would like to cover, and you can string additional sets, up to a whopping 30 strands.
The LED bulbs will last 20,000 hours, and the string has a circle hook at the top of each bulb to make for easy hanging.
84% of the people who bought the Addlon LED String lights gave them a five out of five star rating on Amazon.

  •   48 foot string
  •   15 Edison bulbs
  •   LED
  •   Shatterproof
  •   1 watt per bulb
  •   Link up to 30 strands

Incandescent bulbs in black casings are great to use for the holidays or any day at the lake!
There are fifteen glass bulbs in the 48-foot long string that is weatherproof. You will be able to connect up to two additional strings to the original set if you need more length.
Hang these lights under a deck to illuminate the area below, or set them as accents in an indoor space.
Loops incorporated into the string make it easy to hang them. Ideal for adding just the outdoor light that you need at the lake without it being overpowering.
Soft, warm white bulbs will be welcoming and cozy wherever you decide to hang them.

  •   48 foot string
  •   15 Edison bulbs
  •    Incandescent
  •    Glass Bulbs
  •    11 watts per bulb
  •    Link two strands

Tips for Lighting Outdoors

Real Simple magazine has 7 Must-Know Outdoor Lighting Tips to help with outdoor string lights.

Choosing The Right Lights

Just look around, and you will see that patio and backyard lighting come in a variety of colors and styles.
It is best to know the look that you want before you hit the store or do any online shopping.
If possible, look for a picture of what the lights will look like when lit to make sure the effect is what you are looking for.

String Lights

Bulbs: Incandescent

These are the bulbs that most homes used before the LED showed up. They are not, however, in the same form as that of a single harsh light bulb.
These incandescent bulbs have a soft and comforting glow that creates a cozy atmosphere. The filament is visible in bulbs that are clear and transparent.
If you choose to use incandescent, the larger bulbs, or shorter lengths of strings work the best.

Bulbs: LED

If you are concerned about having the right amount of wattage and energy efficiency, LED is the way to go.
They use one-tenth of the power that a traditional bulb uses.
One of the advantages of this low power draw is that you can connect multiple strands together and not exceed the string capacity.
With incandescent, two or three is the limit to connect strands. LEDs can be up to 30 strands that can be connected.
If you have a long-distance that you want to cover, LED is the answer. The bulbs for LED also last a really long time; about 20,000 hours per bulb. 

String Lights

String Light Bulb Sizes

It pays to know what base and socket your string lights are before you hang them. It will save some frustrations if you need to replace a bulb.
E12 bases are the same size as C7 and can be called Candelabra. The bases and sockets are 12 mm wide.
E17 bases are the same size as a C9 and can be called intermediate. Bases and sockets are 17mm wide.
E26 bases are the size that you find standard in most households. They are called mediums. The bases and sockets are 26mm wide.

Bulb Finishes

Unless you are purchasing specialty lights, patio lights come in three finishes: transparent, satin, and frosted.
Each of these finishes gives a different feel. Know what type of atmosphere you want to create when you choose the bulb finish.

  • Satin Finish

Satin finish bulbs are trendy and give an elegance to the proceedings. Great for a wedding celebration at the lake to create both a romantic and sophisticated ambiance.
If you are having an intimate gathering at your lake house, the satin finish will give that warm and inviting soft glow.

  • Frosted/Opaque Finish

Opaque white globe light gives a clean look and emits a soft, diffused glow.
If you want to use various colored bulbs, the frosted/opaque finish is perfect for each bulb to show off their color.
Especially fun for kids parties at the lake, the opaque finish adds a festive flair.
Fourth of July, Halloween, and other holidays are enhanced when you use the frosted bulbs in various colors appropriate to the holiday. 

  • Transparent Finish

The transparent bulbs allow for the filament to show and add a uniqueness to the light string.
You can create a retro or boho look with a transparent finish. These can also come in multi-colors that make for bright fun.
If you want to add an industrial type environment style to your backyard lake patio, these lights will do that for you.

Get A Known Brand

When looking for yard lighting and backyard lights, look for known brands. Off brands may not be available in six months or a year when you want to add on to them.
It may also make it difficult to find replacement bulbs if you purchase from a lesser known manufacturer. 

Glass Or Plastic

Decide beforehand where you are going to be hanging the backyard lights. Outdoor lighting is beautiful but often subjected to conditions unlike the shelter of indoors.
Anywhere you hang glass lights outside is subjected to rain or snow and especially wind.
Wind can mean that the lights will be hitting against other objects or branches might be carried by the wind to them.
Most of the glass bulbs in incandescent outdoor lighting are like regular light bulbs in that the glass is on the thin side.
That means if they break, there are shards of sharp broken glass that can spell trouble for kids, pets, and guests.
Glass might be your preferred look, but at the lake house, a lot of your time may be spent barefoot.
Glass in the grass or in the water is something you want to avoid. 

Remove Glass Bulbs Before Hanging

Manufacturers recommend that you remove the bulbs first if you are hanging a string with glass bulbs.
If you are hanging multiple strings and wrapping or criss crossing them, this will be especially important.
It is easier to hang the strings when you don't have to worry about being careful not to let the bulbs bang together as you hand the strings. 

Coaxial Staples Are Helpful When Hanging

When hanging your backyard string lights, coaxial staples work great. You can get them in various shapes, sizes, and amounts at places like Home Depot or Lowes.

string lights

I am not sure why they are called staples as they look like nails, but these staples make the job of running a string along a deck or patio much simpler.

Secure Connectors

You may be using more than one strand of string lights to decorate or illuminate your lake house's backyard.
This means you will be connecting strands together. The juncture will be heavier at this spot.
They will also be in the wind and may be swaying, so it is important that the strands stay connected.
You can do this by wrapping the connectors in electrical tape the same color as the cord. This will ensure that they stay together.

Tips To Consider

If possible, avoid putting LED and incandescent bulbs in the same area. LEDs tend to have a brighter hue, and the incandescent is a softer light.
If paired together, the lighting can be unbalanced.
If you already have a string of incandescent patio lights and want to switch LED lights, you don’t have to purchase and rehang a new string of lights.
You can change out the bulbs and keep the same string. Make sure you get the right size bulb for the socket.
Before you hang your patio string lights, think about socket spacing. The larger the bulb and the higher the wattage, the wider the spacing you will be able to have.
So wider socket spacing with larger bulbs will work well across long distances. Smaller bulbs will make a great display when spaced closer together. 

In Conclusion

Backyard patio string lights are the perfect way to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere at your lake house.
String lights can make even an ordinary get-together special. They give you enough light without drawing bugs and make it safe for you and your guests to see where you are going after dark.
If you use LEDs, they are cost-effective, and the bulbs last a long time. Regardless of which type you use, string lights add just the right ambiance to all of your outdoor activities at the lake. 

FAQ

Do LED Patio Lights Attract Bugs?

Bugs navigate by light sources like the sun and the moon. LED lights emit little light in the UV spectrum, and so do not attract bugs.

How Much Do Patio String Lights Cost To Run?

A string of incandescent string lights 48 feet long with 24 bulbs at 11-watt bulbs will draw 264 watts.
The US average rate per kilowatt-hour is 13.28 cents as of June 2020. So if you ran this one string of lights every night for three hours, it would cost you about $145 for the year.
If the same strand were LEDs, they would draw 18 watts of power. They could be run 12 hours a day for a year and cost about $12 to run.


What Is Rope String Lights?

These string lights have LED bulbs contained inside a rubber tube. Use them for outlining features like doors and pathways or creating designs and shapes.


Summer Family Photos Display Ideas

Lake House Family Photo Wall Display Ideas

Capture summer family photos and display them at your lake house to remind you of all the fun you had!
Photos are an invaluable reminder of fun events frozen in time. They bring back memories of the people and times that form the fabric of your life.
Photos are like an inventory and a record of who was there, where you were, what you were doing and the moment's mood.
A photo captures the ones that you cherish and allows you to relive those happy times over and over with clarity.


Best Wall/Display and Digital Photo Frame

PHOTO FRAME

SUMMARY

Overall Rating - 4.6/5

With this set of nine frames, you will not have to choose between which pictures to hang; you will be able to hand them all!
Each frame is 12 X 12 with an inside mat, should you decide to use it, of 8 X 8.

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

Another set from Gallery Perfect, this photo wall kit contains seven various size frames in classic black. 
There is one 12 X 16 that will hold an 8 X 10 using the mat. Two 8 X 10 frames with a mat for 5 X 7 images and four 6 X 8 frames matted for 4 X 6 images. 

Overall Rating - 4.5 /5

This ten-piece set will help you do just that. In a variety of sizes, you will be able to display the timeline of your summer family photos and all the fun at the lake house. 
The set comes in black with two 8 X 10 frames, four 5 X 7's, and four 4 X 6's. 

Overall Rating - 4.6/5

Make a statement with this large 11 X 14 gallery-style picture frame in a matte black. The frame includes a white beveled mat that is the right size for an 8 X 10 picture. 

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

The ultimate in digital frames, you will be able to share your summer at the lake with friends and family. 
You can send photos from your Aura App to any digital photo frame in your Aura network. The frame is iOS/Android phone and tablet compatible with Alexa. 

Overall Rating - 4.6/5

The size of the Pix-Star 15 inch photo frame makes the images seem to jump out of the frame with their clarity and vivid colors. 

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

Definitely a one-of-a-kind whiskey glass, this 11-ounce rock glass is a real conversation starter.
Each glass is hand-sculpted to make a truly unique gift for yourself or someone else. 

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

This is a great photo frame to have on the nightstand next to your bed at the lake house. This handy frame will also display the time and calendar for you. 

Best Wall/Display Photo Frame

There are some of the summer family photos that are just too good to keep to yourself. They deserve to be displayed on the walls of your lake house and celebrated.
The frames listed below will help you do just that!

With this set of nine frames, you will not have to choose between which pictures to hang; you will be able to hand them all!
Each frame is 12 X 12 with an inside mat, should you decide to use it, of 8 X 8.
The classic white mat is removable, or just place the pictures over the top and leave the mat in the frame.
This is the perfect way to display the summer family photos that were part of the summer fun at the lake.
The black frames go with any and all decor. Use these frames all over your lake house or create a summer collage in one room.
Take the guesswork and difficulty out of accurate hanging by using the included template.
Multiple layouts give you different display options, and the template allows you to get the nails in the perfect place every time!

Another set from Gallery Perfect, this photo wall kit contains seven various size frames in classic black.
There is one 12 X 16 that will hold an 8 X 10 using the mat. Two 8 X 10 frames with a mat for 5 X 7 images and four 6 X 8 frames matted for 4 X 6 images.
These various sizes and the fact that you can use them with or without the mats give you many varied possibilities to display all of your summer memories.
Hang the frames vertically or horizontally with the included hanging hardware. A handy template gives you options for multiple layouts.
When you use the template, there is no need for a level or measuring tape.
Just affix the template to the wall with painters tape, and put a nail in the indicated spot for each picture.
So easy! As with the Gallery Perfect frames listed above, there are two sets of modern art prints that come with the frames. 

You know that your summer went by too fast, and there were so many good moments to capture!
This ten-piece set will help you do just that. In a variety of sizes, you will be able to display the timeline of your summer family photos and all the fun at the lake house.
Also, the set comes in black with two 8 X 10 frames, four 5 X 7's, and four 4 X 6's.
Hang on the wall in a collage of summer recollections or use the easel stands to place the pictures around your lake house.
Once you start looking through your summer photos, it will be hard to select just ten to frame!

Make a statement with this large 11 X 14 gallery-style picture frame in a matte black. The frame includes a white beveled mat that is the right size for an 8 X 10 picture.
Choose your most precious summer memory or the photo taken at the family barbecue on the lake.


You could also make the munchkin in your life feel extra special by framing a piece of their artwork.
The hanging wire and brackets give you the option of hanging the frame horizontally or vertically.
Capturing that favorite summer moment will make you smile each time you see it displayed!


Digital Photo Frames

What about the people that you want to share precious photos with? Not just the unique or spectacular moments, but also the everyday, mundane events that make up your life.
Those moments are just as important. But there are so many of them! How do you share them all?

Today's modern digital photo frames give you the ability to share with family and friends no matter where in the world they are.
If that wasn't enough, it is easy to do so, and easy for you to do for a parent or grandparent even if they live far away.
Listed below are digital frames that make sharing precious memories a breeze!

The ultimate in digital frames, you will be able to share your summer at the lake with friends and family.
You can send photos from your Aura App to any digital photo frame in your Aura network. The frame is iOS/Android phone and tablet compatible with Alexa.
This allows anyone in your family to share photos via WiFi.


You won't ever have to feel that you might have too many summer family photos for the frame to hold as this digital photo frame will store 100,000+ memories.
Using the phone to frame option through the free app makes it easy to invite family and friends to share.
The photos are high resolution and crisp and clear. The frame will also automatically balance itself to the room's light, so every picture is vivid.

The size of the Pix-Star 15 inch photo frame makes the images seem to jump out of the frame with their clarity and vivid colors.
You will be able to capture and convey the essence of lake living in the summer with this large display.
WiFi-enabled at 2.4 GHz, it only takes minutes to set up. With the free app, you can connect up to 25 frames!


That would be quite the sharing network! The frame will hold 30,000 images, which is a whole lot of summer fun captured!
This clever photo frame delivers pictures by using photo-mail and is a perfect gift for parents, grandparents or relatives overseas. 

The frame has a dedicated email address, which allows you to share photos instantly anywhere in the world. 

Each frame comes with a free online account that has unlimited storage. You can add or delete albums and pictures and customize slideshows.
The frame comes with a handy remote or uses the controls on the back of the frame.
If that was not enough, you can listen to web radio stations or plug your USB stick or an SD card and the frame will play audio files.
There are pre-loaded games on the frame, and also the option of having the frame send you a notification for appointments, birthdays, or special events.
You will be able to share your summer adventures with all of your loved ones from one device!

Share your memorable photos from the lake instantly with the Nixplay smart photo frame. This is perfect for sharing with grandma and grandpa.
It would be especially nice for those college kids off on their own for the first time. You can share moments and memories to help keep them included and in touch.


Send your summer family photos to their frames and invite others to share pictures to your frame.
The Nixplay App for iOS and Android gives you control over your frame and allows you to manage it from your smart device.

Amazon Alexa

Compatible with Amazon Alexa, you can ask Alexa for a particular playlist. Mount the frame on the wall or display it on a desk or table. 

Choose if you want portrait or landscape. A motion sensor will turn the frame on and off. You won’t run out of room to load your summer picture on this frame. 
85% of the reviewers on Amazon gave the Nixplay a 4.7 out of 5 stars!

This is a great photo frame to have on the nightstand next to your bed at the lake house. This handy frame will also display the time and calendar for you.
It also has an energy-saving sensor that will turn the frame on and off. You can display thousands of your lake living pictures and adventures.


All you need to do is insert a USB stick or a memory card to display your favorites on the screen.
For ease of use, a remote control will manage how your photos are displayed. With a stylish black finish, this compact frame will fit in any room of your lake house. 

Framed Photos Add To the Decor

In the world today, picture frames are not considered a luxury, and anyone who wants to frame a picture can find one that will suit their needs and taste.
Photos and picture frames have become an essential element in the interior design of our homes.
Picture frames contribute to the atmosphere of a house. They can make a plain space bright and interesting.

Summer Family Photos

A Brief History Of Frames

You may think that framing a picture to commemorate an event or display a loved one is an activity that has been in evidence the past few hundred years.


I was surprised to learn that framing pictures as a way to display artwork was used not hundreds of years ago, but thousands of years ago. 


Some of the earliest examples of this were found in Egyptian tombs. Pictures painted on wood then had a "frame" carved into the same piece of wood. 

Framing Pictures Today

Famous artist Vincent VanGogh felt that framing was an essential part of presenting a picture.
He said, "A picture without a frame is like a soul without a body." Pretty strong words, but they are understandable.
Even today, frames give our photos an emphasis and validate the content of the frame. By framing your photos, you are protecting your memories, and the picture itself.


A framed photo can add pizzazz to your lake house and be conversation starters. You can show the summer photos on your phone with friends, but framing them makes them stand out even more.
Framing your favorite photos tells the view something about you. It shows what and who you value.
Whether it is a photo of loved ones or artwork created by a grandchild, those framed images indicate what you hold dear.

Summer Family Photos

Tips On Hanging Summer Family Photos

1. Plot Out Your Display: lay the pictures out on the floor to see the order they look best in


2. If You Think It Looks Good, It Does: these are your photos and your house. If you like it, that is all that counts.


3. Position On The Wall: pictures are often hung too high. Hang your photo lower so that it relates closer to the furniture


4. Don’t Forget To Measure: most people just like to guess, but if you want your framed photo to look symmetrical or line up with others, get out the measuring tape.


5. Use the Images to Create a Focal Point: hang the photos so that they are part of the room, not separate from it. Darker pictures draw the focus to the bottom of a grouping, so put a darker photo towards the top.


6. Blank Walls: if you end up with some blank walls, leave them alone. They will put more emphasis on the framed photos.


7. Oops! If you make a mistake, start over. Spackling will solve that issue.

Summer Family Photos

In Conclusion

The pictures that you put in a frame tell the world what is important to you. They tell the people in those frames that they are important to you.
So frame the best summer memories and the best summer people and hang them for all to see!

Add A DIY Hand-Carved Wooden Sign To Your Lake House This Summer

hand-carved wooden sign for the lake house

Hand-carved wood signs will add a distinctive and homey touch to your lake house. Wooden signs are warm and inviting. Hand-carved signs, especially, add a personal touch.
If you decide to make your hand-carved wood sign, you will first need to choose what type of wood you would like to use.
Know a bit about the types of woods and what is best to use for carving before you go shopping for your sign.
That way, you will be able to get precisely what you need to do your DIY project.
The beauty of doing it yourself, besides the satisfaction of a job well done, is that you can personalize it.
Your hand-carved wood sign can say precisely what you want it to say. Custom signs can be expensive, but doing it yourself will cost you much less.

Welcome Hand Carved  Wooden Sign

Size And Shape

Making your hand-carved wood sign for your lake house gives you free rein as far as size, shape, and type of wood.
There are all kinds of examples online to provide you with ideas of what would be ideal for where you would like to place your sign.
Maybe it is a small sign in the kitchen or a large vertical sign that stands at the entryway to your lake house.
Whatever size or shape you decide on, the wood should be about 1 inch or thicker. This will give you the needed depth to carve.
When choosing the thickness of your piece, remember that wood can be heavy, and if you are going to hang this piece, consider that.
It would also be great to get scraps of the wood that you are going to carve to practice on.
If you have not done a DIY hand-carved wood sign before, use a scrap piece of the same type of wood to make all your mistakes.
It will also give you a feel for the wood, the tools, and the process.
As always, safety comes first. Take precautions against cuts and wear eye protection.

Hello Summertime Hand-carved wooden sign

Types of Wood 

Basswood

If you are a beginner at hand carving, basswood is a popular choice. It is a white wood and has been used in woodworking for centuries. 

This would be a good option to practice and to get the feel of DIY wood carving. Basswood is soft and has little grain. It is also inexpensive.

Carved Wood

Aspen

Another white wood, Aspen is stronger than basswood, but it is still a softwood. This makes it easier to carve. Aspen is also inexpensive and readily available.

Carved Wood

Butternut

A bit on the browner side than basswood or aspen, butternut has a nice grain to it. 

Very similar to walnut, butternut is lighter in color and is another wood that accepts carving easily. 

Butternut is also known for its wormholes, which add character to a carved sign.

Carved Sign

Black Walnut

Black walnut is going to be more expensive than the other woods that we have listed, but it's a beautiful wood. 

Rich in color and grain, black walnut is used for a wide variety of uses, including furniture. 

A harder wood, this is best caved using sharp tools and a mallet.

Oak

My personal favorite, oak is a strong and sturdy wood. The grain in oak is very defined. 

When carving with oak, a power carver is your best bet as oak is a hardwood. 

It would be harder to get detail in an oak sign without a power tool.

A Variety of Options

Listed above are just a few of the woods that are suitable for carving. Wood needs to be malleable but sturdy to enable carving.
Some woods will accept certain types of carving better than others. For instance, white pine is a softwood that is ideal for whittling.
It is less ideal for chip carving where you use knives and chisels to remove small chips from the surface of a piece of wood.
Mahogany is good for many different types of projects, including chip carving.
Cherry wood has a pinkish-brown tint and is suitable for both chip carving and whittling.
Redwood and Cedar are excellent choices for a sign hung outside. Both of these woods last a very long time. Cedar, especially, will smell great, too.
Your local lumberyard will have a variety of woods to choose from. There are also online sources from which to get wood. 

An example of one of the many suppliers is https://www.woodworkerssource.com.

"love the life you live" hand-carved wooden sign for the lake house

Different Styles of Hand Carved

Wood Signs

There are several styles in which you can do it yourself and make a welcoming sign for your lake house.

Hand Carved Signs

Once you decide what you would like to put on your hand-carved wood sign, use a stencil or even your own free-drawn handwriting to draw the letters or design onto your piece of wood.
The piece of wood should be at least an inch thick. You will need a woodcarver's knife, called a bench knife, to trace over the letter outlines.
Make the depth of the letters about ⅜ of an inch deep.
Once you have traced the letter or design, use a bent spoon knife to carve out the space between the lines you made with the bench knife.
The tool will look similar to the one pictured below.

Carved Sign

Being careful, as you should with any tool, hold the tip of the spoon knife at a 15-degree angle between the lines you carved with the bench knife.
You will want to rock the bent spoon knife back and forth as you push it forward.
The knife will curl and cut the wood as you go. If you find that it is tough going, use a small mallet to tap on the end of the bent spoon to move it forward.
Make one complete pass over all the letters or design. If you want the impression to be deeper, repeat the process.
As with any DIY project, if you have never done this before, plan on practicing on a spare piece of wood to get the feel of using the tools.
You will also get a feel of how much pressure to apply.
These tools and others like it can be purchased online.
Your local home improvement store will have them, too, but it will not be a wide selection like you can get online.

Using A Router For Signs

Using a router is another way to make a custom wood carved sign for your lake house. Start again by drawing the letters or design on the piece of wood you have selected.
You will want to use a ¼ inch flute bit in the router. Also, place a plunge router base attachment on the router.
Here is an example of a plunge base attachment for a router. 

Carved Sign

You will want to set the depth of the cut on the flute bit to ¼ inch. Putting the router on the base attachment, position the router over the letters or design.
Holding on to the router, make sure that it aligns with your pattern and turn the router on. Push down on the router handles until the flute bit cuts into the wood.
The bit will stop at the pre-set depth. Push and pull the router along your design until you have completed cutting out the pattern. Do this same method over the entire design.
This video shows a man making a custom sign for a friend: Making Wood Signs With a Router.

Using The Relief Method Of Hand Carving

The relief method of hand carving wood signs, when using letters, makes it appear as if the letters are above the surface of the wood.
Once you have drawn the letters on your piece of wood, use a marker or pencil to darken the wood surrounding the letters.
In letters such as A, R, O, Q, P, and B, darken the holes in these. This process will require a rotary tool with an engraving accessory.
You will use this to cut right up to the edges of the letters making sure to stop at the edge.
The object is to remove as much wood from the perimeter of the letters so that they are defined against the wood.
Change to a rotary steel cutter in the router and remove all the wood with the dark marks that are inside the letters. (the A, R, etc.)
Cut deep with the rotary steel cutter until the letters are standing well above the wood.

"Surf Holiday" Hand-Carved Wooden Sign

In Conclusion

There are all kinds of signs for sale in the marketplace. A hand-carved wood sign for your lake house, which you have made yourself, will have more meaning than one purchased.
You will have the advantage of personalizing and customizing your project, tailoring it for your own lake house.
DIY projects are always more fun, and the pleasure of knowing you did it yourself lasts a long time.
While we are sure you can come up with a few witty sayings of your own, here are some of the sayings people hand carved into wood signs and have used at their lake houses:
This Is Our Happy Place
Time Wasted At The Lake Is Time Well Spent
Relax, You’re On Lake Time
At The Lake, Every Hour Is Happy Hour
Go Jump In The Lake!
If You’re Lucky Enough To Be At The Lake, You’re Lucky Enough.
Memories At The Lake Last A Lifetime
Lake House Rules: No schedule. No demands. No worries.