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Budget Blinds: Ex-hardware store site has new owner

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A Salem-based business that spends most of its time on the road has invested in its first brick-and-mortar facility.

Budget Blinds of Salem, North Roanoke, and New River Valley purchased the former home of Hammerhead Hardware on Colorado Street earlier this year.

The more than 6,000-square-foot building has other tenants including Mediterranean restaurant Abra Kababra. Those businesses will all remain, said Budget Blinds owner Channing Preston.

“We love having them around,” he said.

Preston estimated Budget Blinds would use about half of the building’s footprint. Most of that space will be dedicated to warehouse operations for the window treatment company but it also hopes to add a customer reception area later this year.

Renovations to the facility are underway now, Preston said. Budget Blinds started moving into the space in July.

“We know a lot of people know that location,” Preston said of the building, which Hammerhead Hardware occupied for more than four decades. “And we certainly respect it, too. We hope to make it something that respects the space.”

Budget Blinds repainted the exterior of the building to refresh its look from the high-traffic meeting point of Colorado Street and Apperson Drive.

Work to develop signage is underway now, and Preston said over time he’d like to partner with local artists or students to add murals to the building’s walls.

Budget Blinds of Salem, North Roanoke, and New River Valley launched in 2016 with Preston and a partner operating out of his home. The company, which is a Budget Blinds franchise, now has a team of four and was outgrowing its space in Preston’s house.

“We've been looking for awhile for a new place,” he said. “We knew we wanted to buy something rather than pay to lease.”

Most of the company’s work and meetings occur off-site in client’s homes. Free in-home consultations are one of its services.

But Preston said there are cases — such as when a client is in the process of building their house or when they want to see more complex window treatment options — that made it useful to pursue creating an in-house reception site.

Budget Blinds offers a wide array of window accessories from drapery to shutters to blinds to roller shades.

“It’s pretty much anything you’d hang inside on a window,” Preston said. “We also have some exterior options.”

“We take care of the installation, and we have the best warranty in the business too.”

The new Budget Blinds building is located at 1505 S. Colorado St. Preston said he hoped to be ready to open the customer meeting area by the end of this year.

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