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American made, decorating, product review

New American Made Shades for the Sun Porch!


American Made Window Shades

I’m finally giving the sun porch a little love. Thanks to a random email from Matt at, I’ve finally been able to take down the temporary IKEA curtains that had been hanging in the sun porch windows for the past year and half! Good riddance fussy old curtains. Meet my new best friend, American-made top down, bottom up shades.

Sometimes things come along exactly when you need them. When we first moved into the house, I hastily purchased white and blue striped curtains from IKEA. It was a stop gap measure, I assured myself. The previous owners had left the windows of the sun porch bare and instead installed an insulated curtain over the beautiful sun porch doors. This, to me, was a travesty. By closing off the doors with thick, white curtains, you’re losing the joy of having a sunny, window filled room visible from the living room.

I’m hesitant to even show you how bad the curtains looked. In fact, when I went into the archives to find a photo of the sun porch with the curtains, I had a hard time finding them. I must have really, really hated them if I couldn’t even take photos of them! Anyway, here are the curtains the weekend that I installed them back in January of 2014.

Ugly IKEA Curtains. Ugh!

Yeah, they just did NOT work in the sun porch. The horizontal lines never quite lined up the way they should have and the overall look was just way too fussy. The only thing I liked about the curtains was that they allowed light to get in while shielding the sun porch from prying eyes.

Not only did the curtains look bad inside the sun porch, they also looked pretty awful outside. The blue stripes – it was all about those damned blue stripes.

IKEA Curtains at This American House

I hated those IKEA curtains from the very beginning. There were maybe five minutes after I installed all the hardware and got the curtains up when I was actually pleased with them. And then I immediately hated them. They were cheap, I reasoned, and they were better than nothing in the meantime. But I couldn’t wait to replace them.


When contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing their American-made shades, I knew this was my opportunity to finally get back to the sun porch. They offered to send one shade to me for free in order to review it. Once I got the first shade up, I knew I had to go back and order enough to finish off the sun porch.

Window Shades Made in America

I’m happy to report that the shades are easy to install. We have similar cellular shades in the condo so I’m already familiar with installing them. I think that even someone who hasn’t installed cellular shades before would be able to do it pretty easily. It’s really just a matter of installing two pieces of hardware (more for wider sizes) and then snapping the shades into place.


The thing that I like about these shades versus the top down bottom up cellular shades that we installed in the city condo is that these new shades go up and down more easily. Back at the city condo, the shades tend to get uneven and need a lot of finessing to make them look good. These new shades, which are cordless and are raised and lowered by simply pulling the top down or the bottom up, stay nice and level.

I wanted shades that would still allow some light to fill the room. I mean, it is a sun porch after all. It should be filled with sun! The view from the street facing windows in the sun porch is not very nice. This is when the top down shades comes in handy. With the tops lowered we’re able to see the treetops and the sky while still blocking out the uglier parts of the landscape.


Now that the shades are up and the dining table and chairs are in the sun porch, it’s time to enjoy those summer meals in style!


Full disclosure: This American House was supplied free and discounted product from However, all views in this post are our own.

American made, furnishing, setting up home

American Table: Dinnerware Made in the USA


Dinnerware Made in the USA

The Mister and I have been eating off yellow Fiestaware for well over a decade now. When we bought it all those years ago, it was out of a love of kitschy fun colors and Fiesta’s simple design. Now, as we’re outfitting our home with American-made and vintage wares, I’m realizing that our beloved Fiesta is the perfect dinnerware. Home Laughlin, Fiesta’s maker, is based right here in the United States.

Fiestaware isn’t for everyone, of course. Fortunately, Homer Laughlin has company in the American-made dinnerware category. Check out the full list and add any I may have missed in the comments.

  • Home Laughlin China Company has been making Fiestaware in West Virginia since 1936. In addition to offering tours, folks makes the pilgrimage to their Newell, West Virginia factory of their big tent sale and outlet store.
  • Anchor Hocking products are manufactured in Lancaster, Ohio and Monaca, Pennsylvania. You may associate them most with bake and prep pieces, but they also make a line of dinnerware.
  • Pickard China has been manufactured in Antioch, Illinois since the 1930s. Known for making the official White House china service, Pickard is American’s oldest fine china manufacturer.
  • HF Coors’ dinnerware is produced in Tuscon, Arizona. From the simple American White and American Bistro lines to the Frank Lloyd Wright dinnerware, HF Coors has a nice selection of tabletop goods.
  • Lenox also has a wide selection of American made dinnerware, with designs from Kate Spade, holiday patterns and many other options.
  • Bennington Potters produces beautiful stoneware in Vermont. Started in 1948 by David Gil, Bennington makes stoneware pottery intended for everyday use. In addition to dinnerware, they also produce bakeware and serving pieces.
  • Emerson Creek manufactures ceramic dinnerware, as well as a full range of pottery, in  the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
  • Simon Pearce glassware and dinnerware are handmade in the United States. Their operations in Vermont are hydro-powered and include a mill and restaurant overlooking the falls.

American made, furnishing, setting up home

12 Mattress Brands That Are Made in America


Mattresses Made in the United States of American

In our attempt to furnish the house with only secondhand or American made products, I found myself researching mattresses that are manufactured in the United States. As it turns out, there are quite a few mattresses companies with manufacturing facilities in the US. From traditional inner spring to the newer latex and memory foam mattresses, from budget to luxury brands, check out this list of American made beds.

  • Casper is the new kid on the mattress block. Covers and panels are sewn in Illinois and South Carolina and the foam for the mattresses is poured in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
  • Tuft and Needle mattresses are designed, sourced and manufactured in the States. The foam is poured and cut in the states, the fabric is sourced from a mill in the Carolinas and the mattresses are finished at a factory in California.
  • Kingsdown mattresses has been based in North Carolina for more than 100 years. They still produce some mattresses there, but they also have factories in California, Oklahoma, Virginia, as well as global manufacturing facilities.
  • The Original Mattress Factory has factory store locations in nine states, as well as available nationwide online. They offer both foam and pillow top mattresses.
  • Sealy mattresses are manufactured in three factories in the United States. The brand makes traditional innerspring mattresses, as well as hybrid, gel memory foam and latex foam mattresses.

  • Saatva Mattresses are produced in factories in twelve US states and are distributed through 35 fulfillment centers. The inner spring mattresses feature organic cotton covers and bio-based foam.
  • Englander has seven factories throughout the United States. They do not sell direct to the public so check mattress stores for the label.
  • Cozy Pure’s organic latex mattresses are manufactured in Norfolk, Virginia. The company also produces bedding and mattress pads.
  • Stearns and Foster mattresses are made in the USA, although I couldn’t find out exactly where.
  • Sealy operates 25 bedding plants in the U.S., producing both innerspring and foam mattresses.
  • EasyRest adjustable beds and mattresses are made in factories in Louisville and Georgetown, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Thomasville Bedding Company has been manufacturing their mattress in Thomasville, Georgia since 1969. They make both innerspring and latex mattresses, as well as custom mattress and box springs.

Image: This American House

American made, bedroom, setting up home

10 Sources for American Made Bedding


7 Sources for Bedding Made in the USA | This American HouseIf you get the suggested eight hours of sleep per night, you’re spending one third of your day in bed. If there’s any place to try to buy American, surely the bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. And yet finding sheets and duvets that are made in the USA can be a difficult task. I know this firsthand because I’ve been trying to buy only American-made goods for This American House.

In searching for new bedding for the house, I learned that there are a number of companies that are still producing goods stateside. Here are ten companies to help outfit a bedroom with everything from sheets and duvets to mattresses and pillows, all made in America.

  • The Company Store has been producing sheets, duvets, pillows and other bedding basics in their LaCrosse, Wisconsin factory since 1911.
  • AJ Moss has a Made in the USA section on their online shop. They offer everything from luxury sheet sets to modern duvets to old fashioned Martha Washington bedspreads.
  • Kelly Green Organic offers organic hemp and cotton sheets, pillows, mattress covers and even kids bedding and diapers, all produced in Ashland, Oregon.
  • Brahms Mount blankets and throws are made in Maine using premium cotton, linen and wool that’s woven on antique shuttle looms.
  • Celia Rachel has blankets, comforters and sheet sets – including jersey knits sheets – that are made in the company’s Mohican Mills plant in North Carolina.
  • Holy Lamb Organics creates organic cotton and wool bedding – and even some US-grown sheets! – in their factory near Olympia, Washington. They also make mattresses, pillow toppers and pillows for a completely domestic sleeping experience.
  • American Made Dorm, as their name would suggest, specializes in US produced duvets, comforters and other bedding and soft goods. Headquartered in Kentucky, the company works with suppliers and mills in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
  • Rough Linen produces natural linen bedding that is individually hand finished. The company was a Martha Stewart American Made nominee and has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Remodlista and a host of other trendy home and design blogs.
  • Cuddledown’s comforters, pillows and feather beds are all made in the USA. Their sheets, however, are imported.
  • Linoto has been making linen sheets, duvets and other home goods in their New York City workshop since 2007.

Image: This American House

American made, secondhand stories, setting up home, thrifty

This Vintage Ekco Vegetable Peeler Just Wants to Be Used


vintage Ekco vegetable peeler

I was having one of those mostly unsuccessful trips to the antique mall so I started digging deeper. You know, crouching down and looking behind things and really searching for a good find. I was NOT going to leave empty handed dammit! And then there it was, a vintage Ekco vegetable peeler still attached to its original packaging. Take me home and use me, it seemed to say to me. Don’t mind if i do!

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