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Tag: DIY

For Sale.

 

When potential homeowners are looking for a new house, one of the most important things on their ‘must have’ list is how much natural light comes into the various rooms. Whether or not your home is lacking a great deal of windows or if your home is flooded with light, window treatments will draw the right kind of attention to your windows if you do it correctly.

 

Where do you start? What’s in and what’s out in today’s décor? Vertical blinds – out. Take them done right away or risk giving your home a stifling 80’s feel. You’re better off with no window treatments at all. Get rid of those old plastic roll-down shades too.

 

Look at the windows throughout your house and determine a couple of things. Will the room or the particular window in question look better without any window treatments or are there issues of privacy in the evening hours if you don’t have window treatments up?  There are lots of choices to help you get started, and they all provide different features and benefits.

 

Blinds

We threw away the plastic ones, but  wood or bamboo blinds are fine. Put them in the bedrooms or home office. Bamboo blinds are a good choice because they provide some color and texture.

 

Roman Shades

Just like the blinds, Roman shades are installed inside the frame of the window and they tuck up upon themselves as they are raised. They are perfect for smaller windows or in kitchens or baths.

 
Valances & Cornice Boxes

A valance runs along the top of a window giving it a finished look. It may be used alone, or with another window treatment. A cornice box is similar, but it is typically used as decoration and to hide the drapery rod.

Drapery/Curtains

Draperies can be sheer, allowing light in but still maintain privacy, or they can be the blackout variety to keep the light and heat from penetrating the room. The type of fabric you choose will help determine how rich and lavish a room feels. Even the type of drapery rods and hardware will significantly add to the overall look of the window. Draperies can be puddled at the bottom, knotted at the middle, or tied at the sides for any number of different looks.
Tired? Change your mind yet about putting your home up for sale? Don’t despair. We’ll stop here for now and let you take a breath. Have a cup of tea and rest up because tomorrow we will install the window treatments!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!