Solar shades will allow light in and preserve your ability to see outside while preventing people from seeing in during the day. They may provide less privacy at night when it is dark outside and you have interior lights on.
I dug up that info and Hunter Douglas was the one I was thinking of. Oddly enough, they are available through custom order from Home Depot. What I don't know is Hunter Douglas makes a lower line of shades for Home Depot that is not as good as what you would get through a designer or other trade representative.
From what I've read, Cree is widely considered to make the best LEDs on the market right now. I wish it were easier to find LED bulbs in the 3500k color range. Despite its similarity to incandescent bulbs, I'm not a fan of the overly-yellow 2700k bulbs and the 5000k bulbs are a little much, too. I have a bunch of CFLs in the 3500k range throughout my house and I think they do a better job lighting a more modern house without going all the way to the sterile 5000k look.
Blinds and shades are items where the higher-quality stuff is rarely available without going through a designer or dealer (and is often custom-order only). Stuff like Graber is miles ahead of the junk you'll find at Home Depot, but you have to look a little harder to find it. I'll have to see if I can dig up the list of high-end shade manufacturers. It's been a while since I looked into it.
Well, the posted examples are the worst kind. There are fans with much lower-profile light kits. I'm not saying they look better than the same fan with no light at all, but there's a certain practicality that ceiling-mounted lights have over lamps. I have some fan-lights similar to the posted ones that I am looking to replace with something along the following lines:
+1. I've been really impressed with Michelin's Pilot Sport A/S tires. For a small-timer that doesn't swap wheels and tires for different seasons, I'm happy to find a tire that offers winter A/S capabilities while compromising very little in the way of street summer tire performance.
SO has one. I think Motorola did a really good job of building a phone with an excellent user experience as opposed to Samsung who just churns out phones with ever-increasing tech specs that do not necessarily result in more functional phones. I really hope Motorola is successful with it because I would love to see manufacturers stop with the meaningless specs wars and focus on building phones that people actually like using. I would get one for myself, but the...
I'm nowhere near big-timer status or anything like that, but I'd happily pay 10-15% more for guys who were known to do good work and to stand behind it. One bad contractor can totally wipe out a 10-15% cost savings on a project. My dilemma has been that even the highly-rated Angie's List guys can be hit or miss.