If you’re decorating your new house or you’re giving your house a makeover, curtains are a great way to add that finishing touch to any room. Window coverings are not just valued because of their aesthetic purposes and how it can greatly enhance the appearance of a certain room, but more than that, curtains help insulate heat and cold, block light and sound from filtering through a room, and provide cover for privacy. More so, they add value to your home when is come to re-sale!
Choosing the most suitable curtains for every room in your home can be a challenging task. You can even be confused about what type of curtain to use, what colours or shade best fit a particular room, what type of hardware to use for your curtains, and the most asked question of them all: how to hang your curtains in the most appropriate way. If youâ€™re up to the challenge of using curtains in your household, there are some tips and basic steps you can follow to come up with the best choices for each room.
The foremost consideration when choosing a curtain is its compatibility with the room you will be hanging your curtains. The type of curtain and its colour should match with the room’s theme and style. If you haven’t decided on the colour, the best tip is to go neutral; go for creams, whites or even grays. Opt for a solid material if you’re still unsure about the stylistic direction of your room. If you choose a printed fabric it may be the dictating point of your entire room.
A room full of colours and patterns will benefit greatly from curtain colours that are more neutral. These can match wall colour, or one of the dominant neutrals in the room. Another important element to consider when buying ready-made curtains, or having them custom made is the length. Longer curtain lengths that puddle on the floor are fitting for formal rooms. If you want a contemporary, relaxed and cozy environment, hang your curtains so that they are 1/16″ shy off the floor.
Note that most ready-to-hang curtains come in standard lengths of 84″, 96″, and 120.” If your ceiling and window heights are taller that these can accommodate, you have the choice to get drapes custom-made or keep the costs down by doing faux wood blinds or roman shades that fit into the frame of the window. You can buy these window coverings that areready to cut at any big box stores.
Once you’ve decided on the style, pattern and type of curtains you want to use, here are some basic steps to follow in when hanging ready-mades:
1. The first step in hanging your curtain is to measure the width and length of the window frame or the space you want to cover in which you will be installing your curtains.
2. After this, you need to determine the kind of rod you will be using. The prices of rods vary according to the style, finish and quality. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the drapery hardware most appropriate for your curtains:
Drapery hardware can coincide with the theme you are employing, so choose one that matches the style of your room. This hardware can also serve as a decorative element. When selecting the finish, be it, chrome, brass or black, ensure that this finish is repeated somewhere else in your room so that you tie in the overall look.
There are several kinds of rod types and each has different purposes. For those who want visible curtain rods, you can use decorative rods with finials. For concealed-type rods, it remains hidden and is covered by the curtains. In this case, you will spend less on the rod and its accessories.
When choosing a decorative rod it is also equally important to consider the finial, rings, brackets, tie backs and other accessories because they play a part in creating that custom look!
3. Once you have the curtains and rods to use, mark the areas where you need to drill for your curtain holders. Always ensure that you have pre-drilled in the right location, and that both ends are level. The rule of thumb is to hang your curtains half way between the top of the frame and the ceiling. Therefore, if the distance top of the frame and the ceiling is 12″, you will want to mark thebrackets of your rod location at about 6″ from the top of the frame.Â You can now hang your curtains!
Once the curtains are hung, you can step back and evaluate the work you’ve done. If the drapes are too long, you can pin them and go to your local seamstress to get them hemmed. You can also use a quick and easy solution that can be found at any fabric store, it is called a hemming tape. All you have to do is iron it on and the fabric will instantly seam together. Be sure that you have pre-creased your fabric and that your line is straight!
Chalkboard walls have been used in school classrooms for ages, where students can write and draw, and where teachers impart their knowledge to students.
Now chalkboard walls have made their way into homes because of its fun and convenient way of learning and communicating. If you have a busy household and you want to keep a list of things you need to do or some reminders, you can use the chalkboard wall to your advantage.
Chalkboard walls are also great for kids’ rooms or playrooms; it allows them to ‘write on the walls’ and explore their creativity while having fun. On the decor side of things, they are a great solution for blank walls.
To break it down, a chalkboard is made solely of chalkboard paint. This water-based paint can be applied directly to the wall where you plan to create a chalkboard. It can also be applied on almost any type of surface, some of which are metal, glass, wood, or plaster. It is both easy to clean and versatile.
Chalkboard paint is available for purchase in just about any hardware store and local paint store.Â Most manufacturers producing chalkboard paints have the product available in the classic black, but with the popularity of the chalkboard, more and more manufacturers are reinventing the wheel and making this product available in a variety of hues.Â Check out Rust-Oleum, Hudson Paint, FlokArt and Tilano for some whimsical colour options that you may have never thought of!
If you have plans to make a chalkboard wall in your home, there is no need to hire a professional. This project is so easy to make and you can do it yourself by following a few simple steps:
1. Assess the area where you’ll install the chalkboard wall
To be able to purchase the right amount of chalkboard paint, be sure to measure the area you want to install your chalkboard wall. It can be the whole wall of a room or just an area. Framing out your chalkboard area is a great way to create a custom look.
You can find frames by going to any local antique stores, or even going to a framer to have one made up for you with your specific dimensions. If you have someone handy at home you can tackle a cheap and cheerful option by building a custom frame from a door/window trim; this is another great option that will allow you to customize the size of your chalkboard.
2. Prepare the materials you’ll need
It is essential to purchase an adequate amount of chalkboard paint for the area you will be covering. You can choose the colour you want from the various shades available. Do not forget to pick up a good quality brush and some painter’s tape to frame the chalkboard area. Depending on your wall’s condition, you may need plaster, patch and sand the area to ensure you have a smooth working surface.
3. Prepare and paint your wall
You can use your frame as a measuring tool, or use a measuring tape to figure out the size you require. Using the painter’s tape, border the area where you want to install the chalkboard. It is not necessary to prime the area first.
Once the prep work has been done, you can go ahead and apply the chalkboard paint. Apply it directly on the wall and let it dry following the manufacturer’s directions before applying the second coat. Once you’ve applied the second coat and it has dried, remove the painter’s tape.Â Two coats are a must so do not rush the job!
4. Last minute preparation
Do not forget to paint the frame of your chalkboard wall or apply the frame you’ve bought. Once the chalkboard surface is dry, the last thing to do would be to coat the whole chalkboard wall with chalk dust. Make sure to cover the entire surface and erase it with a chalkboard eraser. Now you’re ready to use your wall.
Chalkboard walls are fun and can be used in homes, offices, and even commercial spaces. You may even want to think outside the box. Chalkboard paint is great to use on all types of applications, from doors, tables, to glass jars. The ideas are infinite and the result is inspiring.
Before installing a chalkboard wall or doing any other chalkboard products in your home, ensure that your child is not allergic to chalk dust because this might pose health problems. Keep organized and unleash the creativity in yourself using colourful chalkboard paint!
I was at my local marble fabricator yesterday with a client and it dawned on me that so many people out there are spending thousands of dollars to buy marble, granite and exotic stones for their counter top and marble surround applications.
Others are simply avoiding it because these large figures just don’t fit into their renovation budget.
The truth is that if your job is very large, the common process begins by going to the marble showroom to be accompanied around by a sales representative to pick out your stone slabs.Â These slabs then get shipped to your local fabricator to be cut, sized and crafted to your exact measurements and style requirements.
On the other hand, if you are not too fussy about the type of stone you are looking for, and you are planning to do a small job that may consist of a fireplace hearth, a vanity counter top, or even a small kitchen counter, you can go directly to the source and hit your local fabricator to see whatÂ remnantsÂ they have kicking around.
Marble, granite, quartz and precious stones are sold by the full slab only; it is very rare that a showroom or stone retailer will sell you half a slab or a piece of the slab.Â However, by going to the fabricator direct you do have the opportunity to save big bucks and purchase a small chunk of a slab for your project.
Fabricators will often have a lot of leftover slabs in their shop that they either buy in bulk or have as leftovers from big jobs.
By going to the fabricator direct you avoid the middle man and are able to negotiate a good rate on the marble piece and the fabrication.
The only downside of going direct is that of course, the choices are limited, but you never know what exotic pieces could be lurking inthe dusty shop!
In a world where we are all watching our dollar, this is a great approach to take and a wonderful insider tip that not many consumers are aware of. It is also a great opportunity to get your hands on something that you thought you could not even budget for! Â On average you could save between 30% to 50% depending on theÂ rarity, size and type of stone.
Most fabricators will allow any shopper to walk in through their doors. There are only a select few that are reserved solely for the trade.Â Your best bet is to hit a small mom-and-pop shop and call ahead to be sure
I popped into W Studio today, one of the leaders in high-end rugs in Canada.Â Â I went in to take a peek at what is new in the world of rugs and boy oh boy, the artistic realm of rugs has come a long way.Â I was overwhelmed by the beauty of what I saw and left with a vast knowledge of the history, character and value of the rug market.
I got a fabulous lesson from the founder of W studio, Alan Pouvakil, who filled me in on the process of rug making and the benefits, reality and investment factors of good quality rugs.
I always wondered what could possibly justify the cost of an 8’x10’Â rug made of Tibetian wool & silk in the range of four to eight thousand dollars.Â Today, I got my answer.Â In order to fabricate one 8’x10’Â rug it takes three people and three months! ThatÂ is one lengthy affair, and this doesn’tÂ include the design time, the shipping and the business labour involved.
Buying a high-end rug is like buying a piece of art; each rug is hand woven and guaranteed to last a few lifetimes.Â It is a product that can and should be handed down from generation to generation.
Good quality rugs have an abundant number of benefits. Here are just some of the top five:
1. Wool rugs have a natural fire retardant. Wood fibres have a very low burn rate and are likely to extinguish on they own!Â Â So if your candles tip, or your fireplace spews a piece of ember, you will have peace of mind knowing that you carpet will not light up in flames and it will not melt from any potential flamehazards.
2. Wool always stays cool in winter or summer conditions, no matter what your climate is. This natural material will absorb 30% of its own weight without feel wet or moist.
3. Wool is hypoallergenic and is approved by the asthma association. Wool rugs provide the aesthetic benefits without harming your indoor climate.
4. Wool rugs do not shed orÂ create any additional dust in the home. Instead they help collect and ground the dust and once the rug is vacuumed it is as good as new again.
5. Wool has great acoustics properties and helps soften your hard surfaces without introducing synthetic materials into your home.
Have you ever picked up an old rug to find a yellow-like dried out powder underneath? This powder is the dried out glue that was used to make that synthetic rug.Â Not only is the cheap rug deteriorating, the yellow powder is also hazardous to your health and indoor environment.
Aesthetically, rugs help define spaces and protect your hard surfaces from high traffic zones.Â Â A good rule of thumb when placing a rug in a room would be to leave between 16″- 24″ of perimeter space.Â The smaller you go with your rug the more your have to shrink the area where your furniture pieces will fit, so be generous and allow for a large carpet.
If choosing a rug with a border it is best to keep all furniture pieces within the defined boundary.Â Rugs with a border work best in dining room settings.Â In a dining room your rug should always be 24″ longer than your dining room table; anything shorter will feel shrunken.
With a little lesson on the value of good quality rugs, we can begin to understand that rugs are some of the most undervalued items in the home.
When a child comes into your life, there are some major changes and unexpected adjustments you have to make.
With these lifestyle compromises, we must consider child-proofing our homes as a key necessity. Don’tÂ despair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice your home’s style fors ecurity and safety.Â You can do a lot with careful selection and smart design.
Your child will be most vulnerable when he starts learning how to walk and becomes fascinated with his surroundings. During this stage it is only a matter of time before he bumps into a sharp corner that you hadn’t previously acknowledged.
Basically any place in your home can be accident-prone but the most common areas are ones that your child plays in, most likely being the living room, den or playroom.
There are some staple items that you certainly should take care of when it comes to baby-proofing.
The market is flooded with safety caps for electrical outlets and tamper-proof latches to prevent children from opening drawers and cabinet doors.Â A stylish alternative is to replace your entire outlet cover plate with the kid-proof Decora covers. These allow you to slide the cover over to insert the plug. It not only looks better than the plastic plugs in your outlets, but also prevents you from losing the little pieces.
When it comes to furniture shopping we must consider the types of pieces to purchase and find unique items that can double up as storage.
In a living room consider an upholstered ottoman; these are great for kids who will likely be bumping into them and stylish for adults to include in their living room.
More so, most upholstered ottomans have storage inside, making it especially useful for storing toys. You can choose from one large ottoman or a cluster of smaller ottomans to provide maximum flexibility in the room.
For sofas and upholstered goods, look for sofas and chairs that have no sharp edges or hard surfaces. Ensure that your fabric choices are durable and washable.
Some sofas come with slipcovers that can be brought to the cleaners or thrown into the machine. This is ideal for babies and growing toddlers. Opt for cushion-based sofas like the Ligne Roset or Roche Bobois type sofas.
Don’t feel like you have to stick to dull or dark colours; take advantage of fun colours and patterns with new fabric technologies, such as solution dyed nylons, ultra-suede, vinyls that resemble exotic leathers and other resilient fabrics commonly used in the hospitality industry that are now entering our homes.
When it comes to wall units and entertainment centres, try to find ones that have ample storage and drawers. Use baskets to store toys, books and objects that you may want out ofa child’s reach. Ensure that your wall unit or bookshelf is well secured to your walls. Once your toddler starts to walk, he will also learn how to climb. To avoid any hazard, secure the top and bottom of your wall unit with L-shaped brackets.
Don’t forget your stairs; aside from the mandatory gates for toddlers, a carpet runner is a great place to put your finishing touches. It will create a tailored look and will prevent slipping and damage to stairs from young kids dragging toys up and down.
There are many ways to child-proof your home and these are just some of the few that you can do to make your home safer for your little bundle of joy. Just remember, it’s never a choice of safety or style, you can have it both with clever design planning.
Looking to do a bedroom makeover but feeling too overwhelmed with where to begin?
I’m going to break down all the elements of how to create a fabulous bedroom makeover on a budget.
Step 1: Start by heading to a specialized bedding store or a department store where you can score some beautiful designer bedding on sale.Â Find a set that you absolutely love, and don’t hesitate. Look at the pictures on the back of the package to see how they dressed up the bed using that set.
This is where you want to splurge and ensure that you are buying all the components to makey our bed look dreamy. Don’t forget all the pillows!
To make a perfect bed, you want to grab two euro shams (euro pillows are large square pillows) and two standard shams.
The pillowcases for the additional two pillows should come with your sheet set.Â In total you should have six pillows plus your decorative and accent pillows which can be found at any home dÃ©cor store.
You want to consider about 3-4 accent pillows in a variety of sizes and shapes. Talk to the salesÂ personnel at the store to review all the intricate bedding details and ensure that you are picking up everything that you need.
Step 2:Â Once you have your bedding picked out consider a wall colour that will act as a contrast.Â If your bedding is dark, I recommend you keep your walls in neutral tones and if your bedding if light, (like pure whites or beiges) you can jazz up your room with a romantic shade of eggplant or blue-ish gray.
If you picked a bedding that has a basic hotel feel you can certainly apply a complimentary wallpaper on your headboard wall. If your bedding has a busy pattern then find a calming framed print that you can hang above the headboard.
Step 3: Don’t neglect your windows! A total room makeover is not complete without considering your windows.Â If the budget is tight, source some ready-made drapes that will suit the height of your windows. Try to match your drapery color to one of the accent pillows on your bed.Â To keep your drapes looking timeless, source drapery in a solid tone. Pattern on drapery is attractive but can get boring and dated very quickly. The only exception here would be if you have chosen to keep everything else in the room very plain and pattern-less.
Step 4: Don’t bare your floors.Â Find a nice area rug that helps frame your bed. If the budget doesn’t permit for a large fancy area rug, the alternate solution is to find two inexpensive rugs that can be placed on either side of the bed. These can be found at any local home store.
Step 5:Â Your finishing touches. Consider the top five elements that will make your room spectacular.