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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!

 

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!

It’s Time for A Little More De Cluttering

 

It’s another day, time for another de-cluttering adventure!

As the most private room in the house, it’s easy to let the bedroom become derelict. dirty laundry on the floor in the closet, magazines piling up on the bedside tables, dust bunnies, bags, children’s toys, all of it ends up here. It’s a shame, because a serene bedroom promotes restful sleep and helps reduce the stress of demanding days.

While other rooms may be difficult to downsize because they perform so many roles, the bedroom is actually very simple. All you need are the basics: nice bedding, crisp window treatments, lighting, a hamper, alarm clock, a candle and a small vase of flowers. Graber swag holders and tiebacks will compliment your windows by creating an elegant touch. Use the Windsor C-Ring Swag holder to create theatrical looking poufs or Bishop’s sleeves. Or use any of the swag holders as medallions to hang all types of draperies from. They are great when trying to cover arch windows.

As you pass through each room, think about the tools you reach for the most and to put them within easy reach. Long-handled wooden spoons will look great in a crock on the kitchen counter and a pot of fresh herbs in a sunny window looks inviting near the stove. A sturdy basket by a favorite chair will hold all of your magazines yet to be read. You will be surprised at the beauty in useful objects when they are artfully displayed.

A good policy to institute with your family is a “One In, One Out” policy. Let something go every time you bring in something else. This way you will easily stay on top of the clutter before it reaches heroic proportions. Like caring for a garden, a little each day will help your home flourish.

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.

It’s Party Time!

 

It’s still holiday time, in fact, next week is New Year’s Eve! The weather report in the south is projecting a balmy evening, the guest list is planned, the freezer is stocked – there’s only one problem; no party space. The dining room is microscopic, and the family room is home to every plastic toy known to man. And we all know that once armed with adult beverages, even the most careful of guests can cause serious damage resulting in broken glass, hurt feelings or ruined furniture. A solution- take the party outside to the carport! How? Following are a few simple, cost-effective ways to restyle a parking space into a party space. By introducing pattern, color, draperies and lightweight furniture, your carport will never tell anyone that it was once dressed in oily leaks and muddy tire marks.

 
To begin creating the illusion that a car was never housed within its walls, start from the ground up.Paint the  flooring with  contrasting colors to create a graphic pattern mimicking a rug-like appearance will hide the floor’s dirty past. Don’t get carried away, stripes are the way to go as they are simple and quick to create.

 

Wash down the surface with a hose and let it air dry, then paint the entire space a solid base color using a roller. Once it is dry to the touch, use painters’ tape to mark the stripes. Start with the accent color, reposition the tape as necessary, and then paint your final color. Wait at least 4 hours before stepping on the newly painted space.

 
Proper seating is key to keeping your guests comfortable. Sturdy, lightweight chairs made of metal or plastic can be found at discount stores and yard sales. Don’t worry about the color because you’re going to paint them. The cushions aren’t a problem either, because they are easily changed. Lightly sand the existing finish off the chairs. Add a coat of spray primer, then a coat of high-gloss spray paint. Remove the existing cushions with a screwdriver, remove the old fabric, and use a staple gun to attach the new fabric.
The entire neighborhood isn’t invited? No problem! Attach drapery hardware to outdoor walls or beams using flanges and metal screws. Attach the curtains with rings because you will want to easily remove them after the party when you put your car back. To give the drapery panels a more custom-made look, it’s all about the fold. Once the panels are all attached, run your fingers through the back and front of the fabric, creating a fold from the top all the way to the bottom.

 
Every party space has a great light fixture. To ground your temporary outdoor dining space without having to fuss with electricity hang paper lanterns in contrasting colors; with some hook eyes and string. Add battery operated tea lights inside instead of true candles. Bring in a table draped in a coordinating cloth; add food, music and friends, and the celebration is on!

Stars and Baubles for your Windows

 

Winter inspired snowflakes and snowmen, made of fabrics, wood or paper are excellent decorating ideas for any Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. Christmas lights, miniature Christmas trees and seasonal flowers will bring magic to your winter holiday décor, filling your home with joyful spirit.

There are many different window decorating ideas for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve party. Garlands, cookies, candies and jingle bells are marvelous winter decorations for a window. Today we’ll look at two easy yet beautiful garlands to hang from your windows. To make the garland pictured above, you’ll need a length of ribbon that is thin enough to thread through the ornament hooks yet strong enough to hold the weight of quite a few ornaments string a variety of ornaments onto the ribbon moving them around to give you a a nice chunky look. If your window is wide, you may want to try making the garland in three smaller lengths making it easier to arrange them, the ornaments get a little unwieldy once you’ve gotten a bunch on the ribbon. You’ll probably need about 40-50 ornaments per three-foot length.

  An easy, but very pretty garland to hang from your curtain rod is one made    from paper stars, jingle bells, and twine or yarn. That’s all, just three things. Trace and cut out paper stars using a star template or die from decorative paper. Fold the creases from each star point to the center and pinch on the front using a bone folder or ruler. The key is to have nice sharp creases. Punch 2 holes at the top of each star. Thread the twine and jingle bells through the holes with a big yarn needle and hang them from your curtain rod. Mine are hanging serendipitously from a ONA Wrought Iron Star Finial. I know! Cool. Cheerful. Joyful, done

Mother Always Said “Make Your Bed!”

 

Making your bed is something your mother told you was a requirement in life, so for years you probably didn’t do it. But now, after all those years of mutiny, some holiday company is coming to your house and you’re not sure how to start putting your bed back together after all these years.

Do you even have the proper bedding and linens? What’s under the bed? Give your bed a finished look and hide the junk underneath by adding a bed skirt. A bed skirt should be the size of your mattress and has either ruffles or panels on two or three of the sides. It lies between the top and bottom mattress. The next layer on a well-made bed is a mattress pad; they come in various prices and cushion thickness. There is an amazing difference in your comfort level when your mattress is covered with a mattress pad. Next, on top of the mattress pad, fitting on your top mattress with elastic corners, is the fitted sheet.

Fitted sheets are easy to put on your bed unless your sheets don’t come with elasticized corners. In that case it’s time for the hospital corner. Line your flat sheet up with the top of the bed and making sure the sides are hanging down evenly. Tuck the end between the top and bottom mattress. Stick your whole arm under there to make sure the sheep is snug and lying flat. Take the corner of the sheet directly below the end of the mattress and bring it up to the top edge towards the top of the bed forming a rigid triangle. Holding your triangle in place, tuck the remaining fabric between the mattresses. Perfect corners!

Now comes the blankets and comforter. Veratex Toscano Bedding will add a beautiful new look to your bedroom. The soft elegance of the opulently traditional Toscano bedding collection by Veratex Bedding makes this ensemble the perfect centerpiece for your bedroom décor. The collection features a blush ground adorned with elegant embroidered emblems in warm taupe, finished with beautifully tailored flanges.

Last but not least are the pillows. For a comfortable and a polished look you’ll want at least four pillows. Two should be covered in regular pillowcases, and the other two should be covered in decorative shams that will bring the look of your bed together. Add a nice throw blanket at the foot of the bed and your room is complete.