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Category: Room Design

Victorian Elegance

Although Queen Victoria died in 1901, her influence in the design world was still felt well into the 20th century. Victorian style is known for being detailed, high-spirited and busy with ornamentation. However, in the kitchen, a more subdued and practical approach needs to be taken to window treatments in order to keep the room as a functional space. It is possible to create custom-looking, Victorian-style window treatments for your kitchen and still maintain modern practicality.

The valance is the standard Victorian window treatment. Typically they are box shaped, with variations in embellishment, edging style and accessories. A valance is a scarf for the window top, mooring it to the room. Victorian valances were known to integrate various clothing styles of the day: the festoon and the cascade. The festoon detail was comprised of a ribbon of fabric, draped or scooped to create a folded, teardrop affect. A Victorian kitchen curtain may have two or more festoons across the front to give fullness to the valance and show off rich fabric. The cascade, a panel placed on the sides of the valance, was a tapered, gathered piece that went down the sides of the window. It’s particularly good for the kitchen because it is up out of the way, and lets in natural light while adding color and texture to the décor. The valance will also hide the curtain rod or top of the blinds .A valance can be detailed with fringe, tassels or beading for an even more ornate Victorian flair.

 
Another practical kitchen window design element is the wooden or bamboo window blind. In the late 1800s a variety of window coverings made from coated hardwood or bamboo made for sturdy, functional shades to darken a room. In the kitchen, blinds are practical and lend a modern link between traditional Victorian decor and contemporary design. Pair your blinds with a stenciled curtain or tasseled valance and your kitchen window treatment will look authentically Victorian.

Another window “treatment” that was extremely popular during the Victorian period was stained glass. The late Victorian era was influenced by Tiffany’s fluid, organic designs. Purchasing and installing a stained glass window can be prohibitive. Etch Art Stained Glass design has an easy way to transform any window into beautiful stained glass that will look like it cost hundreds of dollars. The privacy design obscures visibility through the glass during the day and night. The film adheres to smooth glass using static electricity instead of glue or adhesives and is completely reusable. In fact, Etch Art window films incorporate real glass for an authentic sparkle and shimmer and filters 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Add a lace valance and your kitchen is on its way to Victorian elegance.

Staging your Windows

 

Low lit rooms may seem cozy to you, but if you are in the process of selling your home, brighten it up! Dimly lit spaces look small and dingy especially during the day. Most people are drawn to natural light. Natural light elevates your mood, illuminates a room and can even add a dramatic effect as the sun casts rays in different corners of the room. Take a walk through your house and reassess your windows and their treatments.

 

Installing window treatments us really quite easy depending on the type of hardware you are installing. The most important tip I can share with you is to measure, then measure again. The easiest installation is the drapery rod, which requires a few screws in select locations. Do be sure to have proper tools – screwdrivers, a drill, level, pencil, measuring tape, (see The Right Tool for the Right Job). Sure, you can do this on your own, but it’s much easier to do it with a friend helping. Of course, If you’re uncomfortable doing the job yourself, call in a professional.

 

Window treatments are the best way to introduce color and style to a room. Use accessories to make a room to pop with color rather than the paint on the walls. Balance the color and texture choices carefully, drawing the attention of buyers to the windows, yet don’t overwhelm them with curtains and draperies. Window treatments are not usually permanent and you can take them with you when you sell your home, but many buyers may ask for the treatments to be included with the sale of the house when they put in an offer. Keep the price of the treatments in mind so that you can part with them, or that you don’t lose the sale because you didn’t want to let them go.

 

When you showing your home, don’t forget to maximize the natural light in every room. Open the blinds and shades up and push the curtains or drapes to the side. For drapery you could use tiebacks, but the best way to show off your windows is with the installation of the drapery rods. Install the rod six inches or so outside the edge of the window and two or three inches above the frame. This will make your window appear larger than it actually is and will also maximize the amount of light coming through. By installing the rods outside the frame, you will get a lot more light and a better view of the wood trim that might bear showing off.

New Year, New Home

 

It’s a new year, time to make some changes. If one of them is a relocation, then it’s time to put your best foot forward in your home. The most important thing to do when preparing your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Come up with a house rule that for every new item that comes in, an old one has to go. One of the major contributors to the cluttered look is too much furniture. When a professional stager arrives at a home they often take away almost half of the owner’s furnishings, making the house look much bigger. You don’t have to pare down that drastically, but do take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live without.

 

There’s a common belief that a room will feel larger and be easier to use when all of the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that really isn’t the case. Furnish your space by floating furniture away from the perimeter. Move sofas and chairs into cozy conversation groups, and set up the pieces so the traffic flow is obvious. This will not only make the space more user-friendly, it will also open up the room making it seem larger.

 

If you have a room that is a place that just gathers junk, repurpose it into something that will add value to your home. The simple addition of a comfortable chair, a small table with a lamp in a stairwell will convert it into a cozy reading spot. Or lay inexpensive rubber padding or a carpet remnant on the floor of the basement and toss in a few cushy pillows. You now have a new meditation room!

 

One of the things that make a staged home look so warm and inviting is great lighting. Did you know that many homes are improperly lit? To fix this problem, increase the wattage in the lamps and fixtures. Strive for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. It’s best to have at least three types of lighting: ambient), task and accent.

 

Window treatments are another part of the lighting equation. They should be kept simple to allow lots of light in and to brighten up a room. Lighting has the power to make a room feel brighter and conversely appear much larger. When it comes to staging less is always the best option and clean lines is what buyers want to see. The more  light you are able to bring in the more spacious the room will appear. Neutral tones work best for staging. Cream or white roman shades are also a good choice and you can add a dash of color with a ribbon trim you sew or glue onto the shade.

 

This is a lot of direction for one day. Go through your home today and start moving the furniture and getting rid of the clutter. Think about the curtains, and we’ll talk again later.

Happy New Year!

 

Happy New Year from your friends at Continental Window Fashions! Who knew there were so many things you could do with drapery hardware aside from hanging beautiful curtains and draperies.

Throughout this past year we’ve build party rooms outside, created seperate spaces in dorm rooms,built playspaces and doors out of curtains. We even learned how to properly make a bed and paint a bathroom.

Who knew curtain rods and finials could not only hang curtains, they could hang christmas stockings and wrapping paper, even become holiday decorations themselves! We’ve attached hardware to plaster and lath, a canopy to the ceiling and even made a door and one room into two with curtains!

Join us in the new year and see what else drapery hardware can do for your home.

Attach a Curtain Rail Above the Window

Curtain rails are usually installed directly to a window frame, an arrangement that can hamper the opening and closing of the curtain, and reducing the amount of light that shines into the room. Another way to do it, and enable sufficient light into the room is is to mount the track on the outside of the window recess so the curtains can be drawn well back from the recess and admit the maximum amount of sunshine. To provide a secure place for the brackets, it’s best to install a wooden furring strip on which to mount the rail. A furring strip mounting is an especially good idea if the wall surface is lath-and-plaster (see the October 29 blog post for working with plasters and lath walls).

* Use a level to place the furring strip horizontally above the recess, then draw a guide line with a pencil.
*Drill the pilot holes and secure the furring strip to the wall surface.
*Draw another guide line along the center of the furring strip
*Position brackets on the screws.
*Position the required number of gliders on the rail and attach the end support to keep the gliders from slipping.
*Clip the rail onto the brackets.

Vesta Window Hardware makes all the hardware you will need for this project. Visit them at Continentalwindowfashions.com and let the sun shine in!

The Right Tool for the Job

Where ever you live, be it your own or a rental, sooner or later you are going to have to install something, or fix something. You may have to put up a shelf, fix a leaky faucet, attach drapery hardware, whatever the job; you’ll need a well-stocked tool box. A few essentials are as follows:
The number one hand tool must-have is the hammer. It comes in handy for everything from hanging a mirror to installing a curtain rod. A Claw hammer is the one with the recognizable steel head, that’s made up of a peen (the nail-driving face), and the claw (the crowbar-like nail-pulling lever) on the other. Claw hammers come with either rounded or flat peens. The choice is all yours, but the flat variety has a driving faces that is straight instead of curved, and tend to strike nails more evenly, with less likelihood of missing the nail and getting your finger instead.

 

You can’t put a price on accuracy, especially when it comes to improvement projects. The next essential tool in your box should be a tape measure. Estimates can end up costing you both time and money. Save yourself the trouble by using a tape measure for things like cabinets, are rugs, and window treatments.

 

Your children actually  behaved and sat still for a beautiful family portrait. Is the picture hanging straight? You may need a level. A torpedo level is the one with the air bubbles in three clear, liquid-filled vials that gives you visible proof of a surface’s level. If the bubble is between the lines the vial, the surface is level.

 

It’s a good idea to have a few screwdrivers on hand so you can be ready for all situations. The type of screwdriver is defined by the shape of the head of the blade. It can be straight or X shaped (a Phillips screwdriver). The type and size you need depends on the screw you are about to confront.
Pliers and wrenches allow you to have a good grip and extra leverage. Pliers are good for pulling out nails or bending wires. Wrenches are what you reach for when a grip and extra torque for tightening and loosening is called for.

 

Keep these basic supplies handy, and just about any repair job or curtain hardware job that arises will be covered!

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.

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.

The Right Rug in the Right Place

 

Your home needs to be a place where you can feel, comfortable and secure. And what can help us do that better than a quick, face-lift in our favorite rooms? When you walk into your family room and your eye sees only the stain in the carpet, or the damaged wall, stop. It will probably cost too much to repaint the room or replace the carpet, but you can lay down a lovely area rug.

 

Adding an area rug in to a room will complete your décor by adding color and anchoring the furniture. How the area rug is placed in a room will make the room look well decorated or can backfire terribly, leaving a mismatched mess.  As each room is decorate be sure to  lay the rug so that it shows the design and blends well with the furniture.

High quality rugs from MOMENI, Milliken and rug pads by JADE are offered at Continental Window Fashions. Each collection offers many different accent rug styles, shapes and colors to fit your decor. Whether your home needs contemporary rugs, traditional rugs, or children’s rugs they have a decorative rug that will fit in perfectly.
The MOMENI Collections satisfies anyone’s design palette, and   never sacrifices style for quality. The MOMENI rugs can be found in modern, trendy, contemporary, or  geometric shapes and designs and in  vintage, or classic Mediterranean styles and come in  a variety of eco-friendly materials. Many of their area rugs are considered “green” or “eco-friendly” so your home will look stylish and Earth friendly at the same time!
The Milliken Collection includes the Lake District Collection which is full of rich earth tones. The My Team Collection is perfect for a boy’s room or teenager’s dorm, showing his college or NFL team spirit. My Team rugs come in indoor and outdoor options and almost all of these area rugs wear the STAINMASTER® stamp of approval.
Your new rugs will be picture perfect so help protect your valuable investments by choosing from the  Jade line of area jute rug pads and mats to help care for  your carpets and floors. Made of durable earth friendly materials, the jute carpet pads and mats keep area rugs in place while providing a buffer between the rug and floor.

 

After deciding on the rug a little thought is necessary to the actual placement. Lay area rugs in a bedroom at the foot and sides of the bed. In large bedrooms, place the rugs between pieces of furniture to cover empty floor space. Try laying a rug between the bed and dresser, or in front of a closet or wardrobe, then add a chair to an empty corner to anchor it.

 

In the dining room, area rugs can be centered directly under the dining table. Be sure to use a rug large enough to cover the floor space below the chairs even when they are pulled out from the table. A properly sized rug will prevent chairs from scraping and damaging the floor.In small living rooms, lay an area rug so it covers  the space between the furniture, leaving  about six inches to slide  under the front legs of each piece of furniture. This will make the room look full and appropriately decorated.

 

A rug in the right place can be the finishing touch to every room.They are  tremendously versatile. With the appropriate pad, an  area rug will  work on any type of flooring and in any room with magical results. An area rug offers unlimited combinations of color, texture, pattern and placement. It is  the only flooring product that you can easily install, then pick up and take with you!