The holiday season is approaching. All of us at Window Nation enjoy seeing the festive holiday lights and decorations families have put up in their homes. It’s no surprise that our favorite decoration to see are festive candles in the windows, a simple yet elegant way to celebrate the holidays. Most homeowners might not think twice when putting a candle in the window; however, the small gesture has a rich history that spans centuries and cultures. Naturally, as home window experts, we wanted to dig into the history of the tradition to find out where it got its roots.

How Did the Tradition Start?

The tradition of having candles in the window during the holidays is different for each culture. The origins differ based on religious beliefs and even regions. No matter where your family comes from or how they celebrate the holidays, the use of lights has become a tradition used by many to brighten up their home and make it feel festive for the holidays. Here in the United States, the tradition of lighting candles in the windows of homes during the Christmas holidays was brought by the Irish.

From the mid-17th through the late 18th century, the British government created oppressive laws in an attempt to restrict the practice of Catholicism in Ireland. During this time of religious suppression, there were no churches allowed. Catholic Priests were forced to hide out in the wilderness in caves.  

The priests would sneak back into town during the night to have mass with fellow believers in their homes. During Christmastime, Catholic families would leave their doors unlocked and a candle burning in the window to let the priest know he was welcome in their home.  

With the many waves of Irish immigration to America, the tradition took root here and continued to evolve. For example, in colonial times, a lit candle in a window let travelers know they had a safe place to stay. The candle also served as a signal amongst neighbors that the home was open to receive visitors and to light the way for returning family members.  

With the many waves of Irish immigration to America, the tradition took root here and continued to evolve. For example, in colonial times, a lit candle in a window let travelers know they had a safe place to stay. The candle also served as a signal amongst neighbors that the home was open to receive visitors and to light the way for returning family members.   

How Do We Honor the Tradition Today?

In modern times, the custom of the candle in the window may have lost its traditional meaning, but the practice lives on. The reasons might be different, but the candle in the window is still a simple and beautiful way to light up your home and make it festive for the holiday season. Festive candles will add an elegant touch to any window, from double hung windows to picture windows. You can even decorate your window shutters and entry door with eye-catching lights and festive wreaths to transform your home into a winter wonderland! No matter how you celebrate, be sure to enjoy this time of year and spread the holiday cheer through your home windows and out into the world.

What kind of a person are you? Do you like a kitchen filled with warm sunshine and a splash of color? Or is the kitchen where you make culinary delights and gourmet bliss? It can be hard to choose which plants to put in your new garden window. Do you plant your favorite herbs where they are in arms reach as you throw together the perfect dish? Or will your garden window have red, purple and yellow flowers that catch the light of the morning sun? Choices, choices. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.

You don't need a large piece of property and a rototiller to enjoy a pretty garden. You can have one right on your window sill. All you need is sunlight coming in and some moisture. But there are some things to take into consideration when trying to get plants to thrive in your garden.

  1. What time does the sun hit your plants? If your window gets sun in the early morning, your plants will love you for it. But if the sun floods in your window in the middle of the day, the heat will be too much for most plants. So pick a location that works.

  2. When putting plants on your sill, be sure to keep the containers on something. If you put your pots directly on the wood of your sills you could damage them. Put a plate or some other barrier to stop the moisture from seeping into the wood.

  3. Putting plates under your plants can have another benefit. If you put a little water in the plate it won't get up into the soil, but it will add moisture to the air when it evaporates. Plants love moisture, and this little extra mist will make them thrive.

  4. Some plants need a little pruning to grow better. If you're having trouble with a perennial, don't be shy about cutting it back so the nutrients can feed the root system.

  5. Don't be afraid to add some flair. Put down some ornaments, trinkets, collectibles, glass sculptures, shells or whatever catches your eye. Those affectations really make a difference visually.

  6. Consider keeping an interior light on for your plants in the evening. Though a full spectrum light works best, even a regular old incandescent light can give your plants the extra light they need to be vibrant.

Having a window garden can liven up any room. If you don't have any windows that work for a window garden, give the folks at Window Nation a call. Our window experts can get you on track to having a centerpiece for your home. Whether you want herbs, flowers or a mixture of both, a window garden is one of the most inexpensive and beautiful additions you can make to your home. Start planning yours today. Click here to find a Window Nation showroom near you!

Spring is FINALLY getting close. Seems we have all endured a long, cold winter. Looking outside and seeing the sun shining brightly is a welcomed sight. We want the outdoors to look like spring has already sprung. We start spring cleaning our house and opening up the windows to let the fresh air in and the stale winter air out. Adding some spring to your windows will really help welcome in this wondrous season. Here are our favorite ideas to do just that.

Clean those windows! Clean windows are more than just clean glass. Cleaning your glass is one step to a squeaky, clean window. Open your windows up and clean the inside of the jamb, and the interior trim. Your insect screen can be easily cleaned by vacuuming it with a dusting attachment on your vacuum and then wiping them down with a damp cloth. Polish your window locks and hardware with a damp cloth to get rid of that winter dust. When spring truly gets here, you will want to be able to see it through clean, crystal clear glass in a nice and clean setting.

Replace drab winter window treatments with bright or pastel flowered curtains. Reflecting inside all that Mother Nature is doing outside will truly spring up your windows. Take down those insulated drab window coverings and replace them with flowing, airy curtains that easily move with the air. Aim for colors or patterns that compliment all the changes happening outside your window.

Add a window bird feeder or place a bird feeder in front of your window. Nothing says spring like the chirping of birds. Watching them hop around your windows, to and fro, is sure to put a spring in your step.

Place house plants on your window sills. Spring is the time of renewal for plants, flowers and trees. Placing some house plants on your window sill is a great way to bring that feel of renewal into your home.

Add some colorful sun catchers to your windows. Sun catchers come in countless shapes, sizes and colors. These fun shaped window accessories are not only pretty, but they reflect that gorgeous spring sun as it shines in. You can even buy kits and make your own sun catcher to make it more personal.

Windows are a big part of our spring time experience. If your windows are not in the best of condition and no amount of cleaning, repair or decorating can make them better, give us a call here at Window Nation. We offer some of the top name brand windows in the country. We can replace your old windows with new, energy efficient vinyl replacement windows and have them done in time for you to enjoy spring! Contact us today!

It’s a new year. 2015. Wow. Time really does fly. Have you been thinking about doing some remodeling to your home? Are you trying to decide whether to repair or replace your windows, siding or doors? These three aspects of home maintenance are certainly some of the larger areas of your home that do require your attention and can make a huge difference, if they are performing correctly.

If your windows are leaky and cold, it may be time to replace them. Sure, if they are wood windows, you can do some scraping and repainting to give them a fresh face, but will it change the way that they perform? Probably not. If you have composite or vinyl windows that are just plain old leaky and damaged your choices are pretty limited as to how you can repair them to make them perform at a higher level. Replacing your windows with new, vinyl replacement windows will certainly give you a good yield for your investment. Your heating and cooling bills will change dramatically, if you currently have unwanted air exchange with your windows. You will never have to scrape or paint them. This will decrease your annual home maintenance dollars. And, don’t forget that the new, vinyl replacement windows from Window Nation have security features that are tougher on criminals and safer for your family.

Doors, like windows, can become unsightly and detrimental to your home’s energy efficiency as well as its security. You may be able to replace some of the weather-stripping on your doors to improve their performance. This can be an easy and inexpensive task, once your purchase the correct weather stripping. Replacing thresholds and trim can also increase your door’s performance. Most doors, door frames and trim can be sanded and repainted. These steps can certainly make your entrance way a more pleasing sight as well as more weather tight. It is, however, possible to completely replace your entrance door without breaking budget. A new fiberglass or steel insulated entrance door system from Window Nation will certainly increase your home’s energy efficiency and security. A new door unit will have multi-point, stainless steel locking system to keep your family safe. If replacing your entrance door isn’t possible, then consider adding a storm door to insulate your home more from the outside temperatures. Window Nation offers many styles of energy efficient and attractive storm doors.

Siding is the majority of the essence of curb appeal of your home. The type, condition and color make all the difference. Wood siding, although popular, is a lot of maintenance and repair. Vinyl siding comes in countless color and style options and is virtually maintenance free! Changing your siding to new quality vinyl siding from Window Nation is an investment that you are sure to reap fruit from for a long time.

When you are debating on whether to repair or replace your home’s windows, doors, and siding, remember all the benefits of replacement vs repair can’t be measured by dollar bills. By using Window Nation to replace your windows with new, vinyl replacement windows, you are increasing the level of security that your family gets from your home and the amount of free time you have to spend with them instead of maintaining and repairing old windows, doors and siding.

Windows are a prominent part of your home. Color, size and placement are very important. They are a source of ventilation and a light. Replacing your old windows with new vinyl replacement windows will update your home and make it more energy efficient. Not to mention, increase your curb appeal. But what do you do with these old windows that have been removed from your home? Do you just recycle them? Here are a few ideas to repurpose those old windows by using them in your home décor.

  • Turn your old window into a family activity and message board! If your old window frames are divided, you can use the frame as a central message and planning station for your family. Here’s how;
  • Paint the frame to match your home décor colors.
  • Add some cup hooks to the bottom of the frame. Cup hooks help keep track of car keys! You can even hang a calendar from one of these hooks!
  • Put a piece of thin cork board in one of the sections for use with thumb tacks. Attach the cork board to a piece of cardboard and then glue to the window frame.
  • Put a small piece of chalk board in another of the windows for writing notes and grocery lists. You can make your own piece of chalk board with special chalk board paint on a piece of cardboard.
  • Fill other sections with photos attached to cardboard, fabric or leave open.

Fill a window frame, with or without glass in it, with scrap booking paper or pieces of fabric to decorate any room in your home. By adding colors that go with your bedding this can be a nice large piece to hang above a headboard. Or, add patterns that match your mud room, place a small shelf on the top, add a couple coat hooks to the side and you have a great conversation starter in your mud room that can hold umbrellas and hats!

Use a glass-free window frame for a fun, custom jewelry holder. You can add simple hooks or cabinet knobs or even buttons for hanging bracelets and necklaces. By stringing a small wire or string between the small sections you can hang bracelets, earrings and more. This can be a fun and whimsical addition to any girl’s room.

New windows are a great way to improve your house in many ways. Just because your old windows are no longer doing what they were originally designed to do doesn’t make them useless. Use your imagination and repurpose those windows to add fun, elegance and design to your home décor.

Halloween is right around the corner! How ready are you for this festive event? There are so many fun decorating ideas for this time of year. The seasonal colors of fall are here and ready to be a part of your home this Halloween. Here are five fun decorating ideas for your home this year.

  1. Ghost Shades: For this fun trick you take paper blinds and some crafting paper. Use the black paper as a shade and cut out ghost shaped holes in them. Then place white paper behind the ghost shaped holes to create a fun, ghost shadow on your wall.
  2. Haunted Houses: Use construction paper (black and yellow) to construct small, black haunted houses with yellow windows. You can use cardboard to help hold them up right.
  3. Bat Mobile: Use a tree branch from outside. Cut out small bat shapes out of construction paper. Hang bats from tree branches using string.
  4. Spider webs: Use cheese cloth to create the illusion of spider webs. Shred the cheese cloth on one side hang from the ceiling.
  5. Eerie Candles: Use Columns used for wedding cakes spray painted black to create the illusion of creepy candle holders.

Enjoy these fun projects this Halloween season! Be safe when going out trick-or-treating or to a party. Always go out in groups and wear safety gear. Keep costumes fun and safe with reflective gear.

Most of all enjoy this fun Halloween season!

Even though the holidays aren’t quite here yet, you have likely already started planning for them. Are we hosting? What’s the menu? Who is coming? What do we have to do to get the house ready? While we can’t help you whip up your celebratory feast, or make sure all family members play nice, we can offer some considerations to get your house entertaining-worthy. By simply applying a few tricks to your room — even if it’s a fairly confined area — you can turn it into a comfortable and inviting space. Here’s 5 simple tricks to help you create the perfect entertaining environment:

  • Natural lighting: By allowing natural light to flow freely inside the room it makes the interior look larger instantly, make sure window coverings are sheer or pulled back.
  • Well placed mirrors: By placing two mirrors on opposite walls, it gives an illusion of the room going on and on.
  • Paint or wallpaper the ceiling to make the room look taller: Anything that draws the eye upwards makes a room feel bigger.
  • Use rugs to separate one room into smaller spaces: This creates the appearance of having more than one space in a single room.
  • Pull furniture away from the wall: By having furniture pushed against the wall everything looks cramped. By having a few inches between the wall and your bigger items the space looks more open.

Has this been a challenge for you? How do you make your room feel bigger, or get it ready for crowds?