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What Exactly is a Bay WIndow?

Bay window is a common term for a protruding window construction. Most of the time they are polygon shapes or square in design, but they also may curved. In its most basic form, a bay window consists of two protruding windows. A bay window can add depth and architectural elements to your home, and provide a wonderful opportunity to stretch your decorating muscles. A bay window can be a cozy place to sip your coffee, or it can provide a frame for a picturesque view.

 

The best part of the bay window is usually the view. Don’t take away from this natural asset by overpowering your window with clutter. Consider the room you’re window is in. If it is adjacent to a busy dining area or kitchen, it’s probably best to minimize the decorations. However, if it bookends a grand library or formal dining room, color, texture and pattern would be the ideal enhancement.

 

If you have a bay window, you really must have a window seat. There isn’t anything nicer then curling up with a good book in the afternoon sun. If your window did not come with a seat, put wall cabinets in under your window and top with bright cushions. If that will not work, place a comfy chair or some floor cushions next to it. Just be sure to give yourself the chance to linger comfortably and enjoy the view.

 
Another tip is to frame your window with color: add some potted and hanging plants and flowers that thrive in sunlight. They will enhance the view of your yard and bring some nature into the room if yours is a city view.  There are also so many choices when it comes to window treatments for your bay window. A classic Roman shade or blind is versatile and will help avoid over-decorating the space. Shutters, either wooden or sleek metal, are perfect for creating a private, cozy nook.

 
Draperies and curtains will add bright color and texture to your window. If you want to extend the appearance of width use curtains or drapes to cover the walls framing the area. This technique will let in the sunlight while keeping the charm and color of curtains. Sheer curtains are also an option to keep your window private without blocking the light. Sheers will add texture to the room and can be dressed up with bright curtain panels or valances.

 

A bay window can even be a child’s special place to dream and play. It’s easy to find kid-themed decorations that can be anything from stars to dance to transportation or sports. Base your decorating theme on your child’s interests. Don’t worry if his interests change; most window cling decorations can be designed to be temporary and will not hurt window glass, walls or window seat if they need to be removed.

 

We’ll look some more at this topic next time. In the meanwhile, start that template we discussed the other day and order your hardware so we can get started!

How to Make or Break Your Windows

 

Did you know that the type of drapery hardware you choose can make or break your window’s look? It’s important to choose your hardware before or at the same time as your drapes or curtains. Drapes are usually heavier than curtains and most of the time they require a more stable rod. Because of the more formal nature of drapes, you can use more elaborate hardware than you would with simple, sheer curtains.

Before the drapes can go up, you’ll need a drapery rod. Drapery rods come in a variety of styles, café rods, including decorative rods, concealed rods, and traverse rods. Decorative rods are typically more elaborate and much heavier than other types of rods. As the name implies, concealed rods are hidden by the drapes and traverse rods are only seen when drape have been pulled open. If you’re looking for something simple, try cafe rods, which are smaller in diameter than the other drapery rods.

If you’ve installed a standard drapery rod and want to dress it up, purchase new finials. They might be as simple as the Balle Finial from Orion, or as elaborate as the Grappe, also from Orion. Finials are the decorative balls or figures that are attached to the end of the rod.

Depending on the type of drapes you’ve purchased, you may need rings to hang your drapes. Drapery rings are typically at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and usually snap open and closed much like shower rings do. You can purchase simple wooden styles or try the Italian Baroque flat ring with eye and insert from Vesta.

In order to attach the rods to the wall or window frame you are going to need brackets. In some cases, simple brackets will be provided with the drapery rod you purchased. However, you can purchase more decorative brackets, such as wrought-iron brackets from the Robert Allen Ferraforte Collection. They are so pretty, and come antique brass, black, earth rust, Georgian copper, Georgian gold, and pewter. A hammered decorative rosette is sold separately and attaches easily to the front of the bracket.
The possibilities for dressing your windows is endless but not impossible. Take a walk through your house and take a long look at your windows and current treatments. Do they need freshening up? Next time we’ll look at drapes and other window dressing. Right now focus on the hardware. It will get easier, I promise.

Create a Retreat with Color

What’s your fantasy master bath? Is it pristine, simple and straightforward? Or s something more luxurious, a spa-like setting? It doesn’t really matter which amenities you choose, it’s your color choice that will be vital in setting the right mood. Most people choose a space that is as restful and relaxing as a warm bubble bath. This usually means a calming color palette filled with greens and blues, soft hues and subtle neutrals.

 
Some color schemes are more soothing than others, more natural if you will. Greens and blues, from the cooler side of the color palette, are evocative of the variegated colors of the Caribbean. The bathroom isn’t a place for electric blues or bright greens but rather, use softer tints like sea foam greens and aqua blues. Not only are these tones refreshing, they also visually drop the temperature a few degrees, isn’t that nice in a room associated with hot baths and steamy showers?
When choosing fixtures, pick those in the neutral hues like white and biscuit, and add in more color with the flooring, accessories and wall treatments. Blues and greens are very soothing, just like the ocean and sky. To warm them up use brown wood tones, those are chocolate in hue.
You may want to bring color into the bathroom in less expected ways, too. Light blue could come from a piece of granite or a pale green from textured glass tiles. To incorporate extra color is important but you should also have texture and interesting surfaces, too.

 
You can create a feminine atmosphere with peaches and pinks, or a fresh look by using lemony yellow. Try surrounding your space with lavender tones, then go one step further with some aromatherapy in the guise of lavender-scented candles.

 
If a spa-like experience is what you are looking for, wrap the whole room in white — white tiled walls, floors, fixtures and cabinetry, marble countertops, and even white towels and robes. Be careful though, white can become sterile looking. To make things interesting, use elements that aren’t all the same shade of white. Warm things up a bit with soft yellows or creams and some touches of gold or warm sage greens.

 
Remember, a soothing scheme is in the eye of the beholder. There aren’t really any bad colors, just be careful where you use them. Visit Continental Window Fashions at Continentalwindowfashions.com to see some beautiful accent mirrors. To add to your newly decorated room.  Decorative mirrors can provide the finishing touch to your room. Continental can offer you a decorative mirror to fit any décor. Iron Art by Orion’s Diamante Reflections has a wide variety with both wrought iron mirrors and wooden framed mirrors .Many of their products look like antique mirrors and come in several shapes from small round mirrors to large decorative mirrors. Howard Elliott also offers unique round wall mirrors and intricate ornate mirrors.

A Color Adventure


Color is a powerful tool that can be used to create the illusion of space, inspire emotions, and set the mood or atmosphere for any room. When used with interior or exterior painting, color psychology is a wonderful way to create a healthy and beautiful home.

*Yellow is often thought of in terms of happiness and optimism. It activates memory, stimulates your nervous system and promotes creativity. Try implementing a sunshine yellow and toning it down with white accents.

*If a bright yellow isn’t your style, try a neutral pale shade. It is airy and relaxing, and as a bonus, gives the appearance of a larger room.

*Red immediately suggests passion and romance. It adds drama when used generously or warms up a space when used with a slight hand. At the same time, red-orange balances cool blue and instantly warms up a space.

*Pink isn’t only for little girls. This pithy color is much more adaptable than you may think. A vibrant pink-orange color combination will to bring a playful touch to any room without making it feel too youthful. However, if you want to add pink to a girl’s room while keeping a sophisticated look, try a saturated peony shade. It will add energy yet still keep a feminine look.

*Not many people choose orange because picking the right shade can be overwhelming. Try a deep orange, or terra-cotta in a home office to keep it energized by day and comfy by night.

If you are not sure where to begin on your color journey, pick a favorite color from a piece of artwork, a rug, some dishes or an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent. Try experimenting t in a powder room, a small hall or on an accent wall. Chose an area that’s quick to do so you can see your results quickly and be able to proceed, or change it. See this process as an adventure with a wonderful prize at the end.

Color Psychology 1.0

We often look at the home décor process as a simple matter of what looks attractive. However, advocates of the feelings evoked by color  believe that the colors you use choose for your home can have a profound effect on the emotional welfare of you and your family.
Color is a universal language. The color you chose for your walls isn’t just a matter of artistic perception. It’s a tool that can influence behavior and emotion. If you like the idea of using color to create an emotionally healthy home, first consider the primary function of each room. Then pick a base color. Although it can’t be scientifically proven, some shades work better than others at inspiring certain activities.
In the living room and foyer warm colors such as yellows, and oranges, and the earth tones like brown and beige work well because they’re thought to stimulate conversation, to encourage people to sit around and talk. Because they invoke warmth, they encourage the connection with other people. Cassidy West curtain panels come in calming shades of chocolate, blue-brown and wheat, and come in cotton, polyester and flannel, giving you a good jumping point for your warm and encouraging space.
If you have fond memories of hanging out in the kitchen when you were a child, it might make sense to recreate that color scheme in your own kitchen. If there’s no particular color scheme (gold and avocado don’t count) that you remember fondly, reds and yellows can be great colors in the kitchen. But beware if you’re s keeping tabs on your food intake, as well as  stimulating conversation, reds may prompt you to eat more!, Think about your favorite fast food  restaurants; the restaurant industry has long recognized the appetite-stimulating power of a red decor. However, since it’s stimulating to the appetite, red is great for a formal dining room. Not only will it encouraging conversation, it sharpens the appetites of your guests and may even make them think you are a better cook.
The bedroom is the sanctuary where you go to relax and reconnect. Cool colors found in the blue, green and lavender families are thought to have a calming effect. The darker the shade, the more pronounced the. For a serene environment, a glacier blue with mixed with chrome accents is just the ticket.

 

Rebirth of the Window

 

The term “Renaissance” actually means “rebirth.” It refers specifically to the rebirth of learning that began in Italy in the fourteenth century, spreading to the north, including England by the sixteenth century, and then ending in the mid-seventeenth century. This period was witness to an enormous renewal of interest in and study of classical antiquity.

 
Yet the Renaissance was also an age of new discoveries, both geographic (exploration of the New World) and intellectual. Each kind of discovery resulted in changes of tremendous import for Western civilization. In science Copernicus attempted to prove that the sun rather than the earth was at the center of the planetary system. In religion, Martin Luther challenged and ultimately caused the division of one of the major institutions that had united Europe throughout the Middle Ages–the Church. As a matter of fact, Renaissance thinkers often thought of themselves as ushering in the modern age, as distinct from the ancient and medieval eras.

 

Just as the Renaissance represented a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries, you too can introduce a renaissance into your home.

 

The new custom Renaissance collection from Kirsch features designer-inspired color palettes, exquisite textures and beautiful fabrics that reflect timeless fashion and sophisticated style. They have created a collection of decorative hardware with a modern upgrade and an old world look and feel. Royal etiquette and majestic wealth come to mind when selecting this hardware. Handcrafted wood and resin pieces in the 2 inch diameter really make a statement. Show everyone you know exactly how to dress a window with this beautiful Renaissance drapery hardware from Kirsch.

 

Kirsch also offers a broad variety of quality Decorative Wood Drapery Hardware in 1 3/8 Inch, 2 Inch, and 3 Inch diameters. The Wood Trends Collection offers finishes and styles to match just about any decor, and the contemporary Wood Trends Urban Comfort Collection provides a sleek, modern alternative. Seeking an elegant, classic look? Consider the beautiful designs and finishes in the Renaissance Collection.

 

True to the tradition, each piece of the Wood Trends collection is classically styled in rich colors to coordinate with other wood furnishings in the home. Kirsch has also given new life to a style from a period filled with stories of royal etiquette, majestic wealth and incredible artistry. Beautifully finished and adorned with handcrafted finial designs, the Wood Trends Renaissance Collection manifests views of supremacy.

 

Whatever your take on the rebirth of your windows, Kirsch will lead the way.

Party Outside

 

It’s rare that we think of our outdoor spaces, the patio, the yard, the carport, as extensions of our home. But, depending on where you live, they are serviceable for three or even four seasons. Isn’t it time to make them comfortable and inviting? Outdoor shades like those from House Parts will not only add to your decor, but provide you protection from the hot sun. Shades and curtains also can partition off your space and shield you   from the neighbors.

 
With the help of tension rods, curtains can hang easily in your outside space. Continental Window Fashions offer tension rods that are not just for the bathroom anymore. If you have two points to wedge the rod between, there is an easy way to hang your curtains on the patio or porch.

 

Installing tension rods between the posts of your porch is so easy. Hanging curtains does not have to be a chore. In many cases, a simple tension rod fits your needs. This type of  window treatment does not require nails or a hammer or the need for drilling holes,  lending themselves to quick installation. The rod stays  in place by tension  the two walls or posts you suspend it from.

 
Crisp, plain white curtains work really well to lighten up and cool the look of an outdoor space. Or give your patio the look and feel of a romantic tent open to the air with crisp white drapes. Not feeling the romance? Try stenciling solid-color drapes to give them a quirky or rustic outdoor look. If a child’s birthday party is in the works, make a panel out of every color fabric a colorful outside space.

 
So why settle for a boring outdoor space? Hang some curtains, maybe some fairy lights, and party on!

De-Cluttering and Organizing for the New Year

 

De-Cluttering and Organizing for the New Year

Have you ever realized that now is the time to get organized, to sort through your stuff and get rid of what you don’t want and put what you want to keep in an appropriate place without much anguish? But then suddenly you hear that little voice whispering “I can do this later, maybe tomorrow”. That voice can convince you that you can get organized anytime you want. It persuades you that the window of cleaning opportunity is always open. No. Sorry, it does not work that way. Stuff happens that makes it impossible to concentrate on the organizing process. Those things may go on for a long time. Day-to-day living eats up our time and energy. Many times we end up stuffing things in drawers, stashing them under the bed, or even throwing some out, just to keep our heads above water. We assure ourselves that we’ll get a grip on it very soon, and yet soon never seems to get here.

Organizing our stuff is a passion of mine. I consider cleaning out my junk drawer fun. I love labels and have been known to put my books and colored pencils in rainbow order. Laugh if you must, but over the years I’ve developed a simple routine for trimming down and crafting order in my home. How? It’s relatively easy when you stop hyper-ventilating. What exactly is clutter anyway? Unfortunately it is a sign of procrastination. It is the blender you’ve been meaning to fix, the overdue library books and the piles of paperwork and junk mail waiting to be sorted. De-cluttering requires decision making, some that you may have been putting off forever.
So what’s first? Clutter clearing is physically and emotionally fatiguing, so now is the time to gear up and fuel your motivation. Here are a few questions you might like to ponder over a cup of tea before getting started: How will clearing the clutter from my home make life easier? What is the most challenging area to work on? In three words, how do I want my home to feel when this is done?

Let’s begin by making a quick sweep of the whole house, picking up the obvious clutter. You know what these are; items going to the trash or to recycling, the things you have been meaning to return to your neighbor, and other things you know can’t stand to look at. This first step is meant to be easy and fast. Turn on some music, gather a few bags and set the timer for 15 minutes. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel after a short clutter-busting spree! If you find yourself saying “I might need some of this one day…!” be honest. Do you really need twenty ratty old towels, or will a couple of nice fluffy ones do? When you pare down to what is really loved, needed, and actually used, the cupboards and shelves are not going to be horrifying to open every day.

Collections can be wonderful additions to your home, but they usually take on a life of their own and end up getting out of control. By narrowing the focus of the collection, you will be able to create a more interesting and cohesive display. Find one location where all of the pieces can sit together for maximum impact. Perhaps a slim shelf made with a slim cornice board held up by Kirsch Alexandre Brackets will fit the bill.
Take another deep breath now. Go back to your cup of tea. This has been a great start on the road to de-cluttering! Let’s meet again tomorrow.

New Year, New Look

 

The New Year is coming faster and faster, it’s time to get the house ready for a fresh start. One of the harder rooms in the house to decorate is the bathroom.  It’s simple if you look at the common denominator: the bathroom window. By dressing it with a beautiful valance, a colorful roman shade, or plantation wood you can enhance and relax the room, even as you keep the busy world at bay.

Window treatments are as diverse as the sizes of windows they cover, and a unique designer look can be achieved that will fit your budget. In the bathroom, mini-blinds are often paired with valances. The blind offers concealment, and the valance adds warmth to the room. Stylish ready –made valances especially those that are lined can be purchased relatively inexpensively leaving the remainder of the budget for an elegant rod and a store-bought mini-blind. Most simple drapery hardware with decorative finials can be used as a valance rod. Graber Adjustable Cafe  hardware is designed to complement their  decorative Traverse Rod Collection. The cafe  rod sets include the necessary hardware for installation.

If you are looking for a more stream lined effect, Gila privacy window tint has a frosted look that allows you to look out but keeps others from being able to  look in, or perhaps you want a more decorative window. Floral etched glass in a design that coordinates with a wide variety of decorating motifs can be easily added with to any window or glass door with Etched Art Window Film adhesive-free, vinyl film. The film  adheres to smooth glass or plastic through the use of static electricity, without glue or adhesives and is completely reusable. Etch Art window films incorporate real glass for an authentic sparkle and shimmer. Not only does the film enhance the décor of your room while providing privacy, it helps reduce heat and saves energy. Steam and moisture will not affect these window films so it’s also great for the shower door.

If you want to repeat the mini blind theme in your bathroom, you can pair them with valances or with café curtains. If the valance is being hung on a rod, make sure you have enough material to cover the required area including any additional length needed to wrap the material if needed. When attempting to lengthen a window or make it appear larger, avoid covering a large amount of glass. To minimize the appearance of a window, use a longer style of valance that provides more glass coverage. It will not only provide privacy but will let in lots of light through the upper half of the window. I would not recommend hanging long curtains or draperies in the bathroom or powder room because they will get wet and moldy. A window treatment that uses a variety of textures, from fabric to wood would be better. Valances should not cover more than the top third of the window.

What’s next on our New Year’s reboot? Let’s stroll through the house and see!

New Year’s Reboot

 

As New Year’s Eve approaches we start to think about how to reorganize our lives, how to ‘do better’, to ‘eat right’, etc. An easy step toward starting the New Year right is to put your home in order. Simplify. Start by taking down heavy window coverings and replace them with simple shades. Natural light in the kitchen is essential; you spend a lot of time there. Shades offer a privacy treatment and still allow plenty of light. One example of an attractive pleated shade are the Lewis Hyman Sun Solar Shades. They are energy efficient, and reduce cooling costs and block the sun while still letting in air and light.

 

Too much direct sunlight is also an issue in kitchens, making them hot and unpleasant to work in. Simple wood blinds or woven wood shades, like the Bamboo shades from Lewis Hyman are of the highest quality and will add a touch of the tropics to your decor. They come in several colors and styles to choose from, If you need to add more privacy, just add a roman shade privacy liner to keep our prying eyes and light.
The kitchen typically has lots of straight lines- the cabinets, the appliances, the counters – try adding a window treatment with soft curves to open the space up, especially in a small kitchen. Arching a valance is a good option, especially over the sink where we spend too much of our time. Curved curtain rods can not only be hard to find they can be a challenge to have custom made. Since most windows are not the same it requires a company that knows what they are doing to get things made right. Continental Window Fashions specializes in custom bending and curving of curtain rods. Traverse rods for bay windows are functional and serve their purpose but putting up a decorative curved rod changes the look from ordinary to amazing.
Next time our New Year’s reboot will change up the windows in one of the harder rooms in the house – the powder room! Get your tape measure ready, there’s a lot to do.