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Put Away Your Hammer

 

Not all of us can walk through our home with hammer and nails in hand. If your lease or dorm rules prohibit you from nailing up drapery brackets you need to find a get creative. One solution would be to use a tension rod from Umbra which will allow you to hang lightweight curtains without mounting hardware. You can also use tmporary hook. The kind that stick on the wall and then remove with out damage. As long as your window treatments are not too heavy, either method you select will be adequate for holding up the hardware.

To install a tension rod, measure the length and width of the inside of the window frame. Choose a curtain made from lightweight fabric. The length should ideally be equal to or slightly shorter than the length of the inside of the window frame. The width can vary, depending on how much fullness you desire. Tension rods are adjustable within a certain range. Be sure to pick the longest rod that will fit in your window to ensure the greatest amount of spring tension to keep the rod secure. Turn the end sections of the rod to change the length, making it slightly less wide than the window opening.Slide the curtains on and then place the rod near the top of the wiindow frame at a spot where the hem of the curtain will brush the window sill.

If you decide to uses temporary hooks, attach them as you would nails – one on each corner of the window just outside the frame. It’s best if you leave the hooks in place for about an hour to let the adhesive set up. When picking curtains for this application, make sure the weight of the fabric does not exceed the combined weight of the two hooks.

Sometimes a sheer curtain or one that is lightweight enough to hang from either of these two methods isn’t quite enough. Designed to cling to your window through the use of static electricity, window cling film from Etch Art is completely removable and reusable. Installation is easy. Just wash the window, trim the film to size and apply a layer of water to the window. Place the film against the window and squeegee away any excess water and air. Add a decorative touch or use privacy films to help keep any eyes from looking in.

Now there’s no excuse to be stuck with boring apartment or dormitory vertical blinds ever again. Put away your useless hammer and get out your ruler or tape measure and get to work!

What Exactly is a Bay WIndow?

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

How to Make or Break Your Windows

 

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The View from Your Window

 

 

Curtains play many roles in the home. Not only do they decorate and help insulate a room, they also provide a sense of security and comfort. Do your windows face the street or look into your neighbor’s house? There are two options for those rooms in which visibility is an issue. Choose heavy materials, finer weaves or darker colors, or perhaps a double layer of curtain and blinds. Blinds are no longer the ugly stepsister of the window world. Today, there are incredible choices in every color of the rainbow.

Curtains that open without a fuss are a necessity. People who have a wonderful view from their kitchen window find this especially true. Choose curtains that are functional as well as pretty. Drapes with a pull are an option, but it’s perfectly okay to choose curtains that simply slide on the rod, as long as the rod is reachable.

When you’re deciding whether to choose a dark or light color, remember that the decision will impact the entire room. Darker colors will limit the light in your rooms, great if someone works late hours and tends to sleep during the day. However, if you’re looking to lighten up a room, choose lighter colors for your curtains. The pale colors will tend to let sunlight filter through, even if the curtains are so heavy that you can’t see through them.

Whichever style of drapery you decide to go with, the next step is the hardware. Traditional or contemporary, wood, iron or metal? Decorative drapery hardware from Robert Allen should be your first choice when selecting high end drapery hardware. Robert Allen offers decorative and beautiful drapery hardware in many different styles. If its modern drapery hardware you’re looking for, see the Al Fresco Collection, or if it’s something more traditional we recommend the Bedpost Collection.

Continental Window Fashions is proud to offer the Robert Allen collection. With free shipping orders of $100 or more and 9am – 5pm customer support, Monday – Friday, Continental Widow Fashions strives to make your ordering experience as simple as possible. Online ordering is available or you may call toll free at 866-375-4500.