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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.

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.

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’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

The Shower Curtain Dilemma

 

Its holiday time and company is coming to stay at your house. Is there anything worse than stepping out of the shower and into a puddle of water? Hanging a shower curtain not only gives you privacy as you shower, it keeps the water from splashing out onto the floor. Shower curtains can be functional: used simply to prevent water from getting on the bathroom floor or they can also be decorative and add to the beauty and charm of the room. How high you hang the shower rod will alter both the look and the effectiveness of the curtain. Hang a curtain higher on the wall and add tie-backs to enhance a whirlpool tub, or choose a straight curtain sitting 1 to 2 inches above the floor to cover a plain tub, or hide unattractive glass shower doors.

Look around the room and consider the elements of the bathroom before choosing the perfect height for your space. Choosing the right shower curtain is critical to designing your bathroom. Pay particular attention to the shower curtain rods and rings,like those from Kirsch,  the more overlooked of the elements, when refurbishing the room. Rather than focusing on buying a bath rug or towels, hang your shower curtain in an uncommon way to add interest to that aspect of the room.

When shopping for a shower curtain, consider your needs. When thinking about function; plastic and vinyl shower curtains are the most waterproof. In form however, cotton, linen or silk curtains look more decorative and lush. For the best of both worlds, choose a waterproof shower liner and a more attractive fabric curtain. The shower curtain is usually chosen based on the design of the room; the liner meanwhile serves a more practical function.

Even though the average shower liner is inexpensive, the quality will vary. A less expensive shower liner will work alright, but it will probably not last very long liners since they are exposed daily to soap and water , and a good quality curtain will be easier to maintain than lower cost ones. Shop for a heavy duty liner for optimal maintainability.

The final step to installing a shower curtain is to put up the shower curtain rod. If you are using a mounted shower curtain rod, as opposed to a tension rod, accurate measurements are needed because you are going put holes in your wall. How high do you want the rod to be? Remember, the shower curtain should hang no less than a 2-3 inches from the top edge of the tub.

Next, mark the height on both walls. Before installing the brackets on the walls, it’s a good idea to hold the rod up to the marks and make sure you have marked the right spot and the rod is level. Next, screw or nail the brackets to the wall. Be sure to use the proper screws for you wall. Drywall requires anchors! When the brackets are mounted, thread the shower curtain onto the rod and fit the rod into the brackets. Done. Take a shower or relaxing bubble bath, and marvel at your work.