Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How to Measure Glass Curtains

How to Measure Glass Curtains
How to Measure Glass Curtains
Glass curtains traditionally were hung close to the glass to assure privacy and diffuse light, even when the draperies were drawn open, and consequently they were placed just inside the window frame, next to the top window sash, either to just above or just below the apron, or mouldings, of the window sill. But it is also proper to have glass curtains hang to the
moulding or just clear the floor when no draperies are used. And, increasingly, the new popular window sheer curtains, used by themselves, hung on traverse rods, fall to the floor. If you have built-in window seats, bookshelves, or radiators just below the sill, don't try to conceal them with a glass curtain, but have your curtain extend only to the sill or built-in surface.

How to Measure Glass Curtains
How to Measure Glass Curtains
After obtaining the length, you will want to add to it extra inches for hems, casings, headings and shrinkage. For your double top hem you will need 4 inches (this includes a double fold-over for stiffness or for your heading). For your double hem on the bottom, you will want at least 2% inches, although it is currently fashionable to have a generous 5-inch hem at the bottom. If you plan to buy a ready-made trim you need only one-half inch to use for the turn. Then also allow at least 1 inch to each yard of curtain length for shrinkage, unless you buy a shrink fast material. Generally speaking, as has been said, the problem of shrinkage is more serious with a coarser weave.

Curtain fabrics usually come in 36, 50, 72 and 90 inch widths. For under-curtains or glass curtains you will want soft folds for which you plan to have 1% times the width of the window in material. If your fabric is very sheer, allow for twice the width. (This is the case with voile, orlon, nylon, fiberglass, etc.) Measure the window from jamb to jamb for the average double hung window where you will want the glass curtain to come within the framework of the over draperies. But in the case of picture windows or window-wall glass curtains, your traverse rod will extend beyond the window frame work some 3 or 4 inches.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Valances, Cornices, Swags and that Built-in Look

Valances, Cornices, Swags and that Built-in Look
Valances, Cornices, Swags and that Built-in Look
Today when a smooth, unified look is one of the things we expect from a good room, built-in bookcases, desks, and even furniture, are designed to suit it. We attempt to make furnishings seem so natural to the room that they are actually part of its architecture. Curtains and draperies help to achieve this smooth-flowing atmosphere, and when they too appear to be built in, the feeling is enhanced. Cornices and valances go a long way towards uniting the drapery with the wall, relating the window to the rest of the room.

They not only conceal the mechanics of the drapery operation, the rods and hooks, and the window frame itself (which is apt to be anything but ornamental in an older house or apartment), but they unite two or more windows, making them seem one large unit, and they can be used decoratively to echo a color or wallpaper or fabric pattern in the room. As they are, in a way, part of the architecture of the room, they must be used judiciously.

You can actually use your wall paper to cover a wood or metal cornice or valance board, or you can cover the boards with a correlated drapery material. Many firms are now producing wallpapers and fabrics in exact duplicates, and some fabric houses have groups of three correlated fabrics so that you can match your valance and drapery in complementary colors and weaves.

Other ideas include mounting a group of small framed prints or photographs on your valance; using stripes on a bias to match vertically striped draperies; using the expensive fabric you could not afford for draperies in your valances; covering them with the new wallpapers that simulate marble, brick, etc. If you make a hobby of finishing woods, you might give an interesting wood finish to a plain pine cornice.

You can buy unpainted hardwood cornices and valance boards at the hardware counter of the drapery section of your department store. Some stores even have assembled cornices with traverse rods installed.

If you buy a ready-made cornice, it is safest to get an adjustable one.

Valances, Cornices, Swags and that Built-in Look
Valances, Cornices, Swags and that Built-in Look
Just to make things clear, valances, cornices and swags are variations of the same thing, the top finish of the window. A valance may be either hard or soft, depending on whether it hangs from a wooden board or not. When it is a curving piece of material with draped ends it is a swag, and when a swag is held at either corner by rings it is a festoon. A cornice is  usually a valance of straight rectangular shape with the board parallel to the window whereas the valance board is at right angles to the window like a shelf. Valances are often used to make a tall window seem shorter, and to make a high ceiling lower. Swags provide color contrast and interest to draperies without headings.

If you or your husband is at all handy with carpentry tools, it is simple enough to make your own cornice, however, since you need only nail together three boards, each about % inch thick. The two side boards will be about 6 inches long, the front board the width you wish the cornice to be. If you want to make your cornice adjustable, take 3 boards for the front piece, and nail them together with the center one on top, and overlapping the other two. To make the cornice shorter, increase the amount of overlapping. Decrease it to make it longer, pulling out the nails. Cornice brackets for attaching the cornice, or valance, to the wall, may be bought in hardware stores and many stores carry them. One part of the bracket plate is attached to the wall; the other to the cornice, and a screw fits through holes in each.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Hang Combination Tape Curtains

HANGING INSTRUCTIONS - PENCIL PLEAT CURTAINS



Ironing may be required before hanging - ensure iron is used on fabric side only.




STEP 1.
Ensure that the 4 cords of the tape are securely knotted at one end of the curtain. To Pencil Pleat the curtains use the 2 outside cords of the 4 cords on the heading tape.

STEP 2.
Hold the 2 outside cords and with your other hand gently push the heading along the cords until the fabric is pleated to its maximum, this forms the pleats. Ease the heading out again to the desired width, distributing the pleats evenly.

Tie a knot to hold them in place. Cut off the excess cord immediately past the knot to avoid a possible strangulation hazard. Ensure the end of the
cord is minimum of 1600mm above the floor.

STEP 3.
You will notice that the tape has 2 levels of hook pockets. This allows you to vary the finished length of your curtains. If you wish to hang the curtains below the track, use the top row of pockets for the curtain hooks. If you require the tracks to be covered, the bottom row should be
used.

To avoid creating a possible strangulation hazard for children, the corded internal window covering must be installed in such a way that a loose cord cannot form a loop 220mm or longer at a height of less than 1600mm above the floor level.

You must ensure that once installed to your satisfaction, the cords are tied and cut off the excess cord immediately past the knot to avoid a possible strangulation hazard. Ensure the end of the cord is minimum of 1600mm above the floor.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to Modernize Your Home in 3 Simple Ways

How to Modernize Your Home in 3 Simple Ways
How to Modernize Your Home in 3 Simple Ways
I think when you want to revive and brighten up your home, a modern look is great. A modern home is usually decluttered and looks fresh and clean. It is a great idea to think about changes you can make in your house.
To update your home, it need not to be a stressful process and can be something you gradually apply into through phases. It also does not need to cost you a lot of money.
Here are just 3 ideas tips to help you accomplish a modern look to your home.
Home Decluttering
Home Decluttering
Home Decluttering
First of all you should take a good look at what is already in your home. Before you start buying anything new, get rid of what you do not need. Holidays are a great time to do this as you can donate what you do not want to a local secondhand store. Tackle one room at a time. Do not become too overwhelmed if it seems too much to do at first. Start in the kitchen, and make your way to the bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.
If you do not want to get completely rid of items that may mean a lot to you, you can at least declutter it from the room. Try to aim for only two to three items on a shelf or desk. By only choosing a few items to display, you can mentally decide what is important enough to keep and what you may not want.
Adding New Light
Adding New Light
Adding New Light
It is extremely important for the atmosphere you are going for at the time. Changing your lighting does not need to be a huge task. You can start out simply by changing your light bulbs. If you have static light switches change them to dimmable light switches. Consider buying desk or floor lamps that suit the style of your room. By replacing or adding just a few lamps, you will be able to transform a dead space completely into a lively, bright place.
Make sure that your window spaces are not blocked, and natural light is allowed inside of your home. These are often the most beautiful places in your home, when you can see the sun coming through your window. Consider changing your curtains to white or a light color so that more light can shine.
Changing Colors
Changing Home Colors
Changing Home Colors
If you are hoping to make your home feel new, a quick way to do this is change your color scheme. For a modern touch, consider lighter colors, preferably white. Of course, you can always pair this with another accent color of your choice. Consider this to be a color that will pop. You can also work with textures too, from wood to metal.
You can take this as far as you would like from repainting your entire home to just adding a few accent pieces in your home. An easy way to do this without spending too much money is to repaint a piece of existing furniture or a cheap one you can find at a secondhand store. Even adding in one new different thing can make a big change in the atmosphere of your home.

By applying these three simple changes, your home is already on its way to feeling like an entirely new space for you and your family to enjoy. Do not get too caught up on the whole process, but just take one step at a time, and soon you will feel that you have a brand new home.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cheap and Easy DIY Ideas to Update your Bathroom

Cheap and Easy DIY Ideas to Update your Bathroom
Cheap and Easy DIY Ideas to Update your Bathroom
Because of the room getting numerous use, bathrooms get ragged looking quicker than the rest of the house. The little room also costs big cash to modernize and when those big cash are not in the budget, use these cheap and easy DIY ideas to update your bathroom and give it an entirely new interior design without undertaking a major home re-modeling project.

Now we will discuss some cheap and easy DIY ideas to update and modernize your bathroom:

Using New Curtains:
bathroom curtains
bathroom curtains
Create a new color scheme on the floor and work your way up by purchasing a colorful new rug for the bathroom floor. Choose your favorite color in the rug, then purchase a new shower curtain in that color and keep that color scheme going with a new pair of window curtains. Installing a new double-curved shower curtain rod will give you more elbow room inside the shower and an extra rod to hand damp towels out-of-sight.
A new coat of wall paint, semi or high-gloss, will make clean-up easy and update the bathroom for just a few bucks. Don’t be afraid to paint the bathroom cabinets as part of the interior design scheme, and add new hardware to the cabinetry.
Add a few colorful accessories around the room using other colors pulled from the new rug to give the updated space a unified look. Art work can be placed on bathroom walls, just be aware of the moisture and heat that permeates the air in the bathroom and select art work, like painted ceramic tiles, to use in the interior design.

Replacing Showerhead

Showerhead
Showerhead
You can get a spa-like experience while conserving water in your current shower with the right showerhead. With a few twists of a pair of pliers or a pipe wrench, you can install a new showerhead for less than 50 bucks. If you’re longing for a rain-shower head, you can get the experience without re-doing water pipes, purchase a rain showerhead that has an extension that fit right onto your current pipes.

Replace the Toilet Seat
Toilet Seat
Toilet Seat
Get a new toilet seat and install it yourself. This DIY update is not difficult and for under 20 bucks you will make the most important bathroom fixture look new again. Add new screw caps on the bottom (where applicable) and you’re done with that updating task.
Caulk and Grout
Caulk and Grout
Caulk and Grout
Old caulking around the tub and sink looks dingy and dirty even when it’s clean. Remove the old caulk with a scraper and replace it with new, a cheap and easy DIY job that can be done for under $10.
Clean dingy grout lines with bleach (if white) or a specially formulated grout cleaner to make it look new again.
If the budget permits, invest in some new tiles and create a new vanity top, tub or shower surround. Tiling is a simple DIY project that instantly transforms any room of the home.
Organizing your Bathroom
Organizing your Bathroom
Organizing your Bathroom
Getting all the grooming products organized is a very cheap and easy way to update the look of a bathroom, plus it cuts down on time spent in the bathroom when you don’t have to search for products. Purchase suction cup holders for shower storage, decorative baskets or small bins to store toiletries on and under the vanity.
If more storage is needed inside the bathroom, re-paint an old chest of drawers, nightstand or bookshelf to match bathroom décor and place it in the room to hold towels and toiletries. If there is no space for a piece of furniture, install self-adhesive hooks or a clear-pocket shoe bag on the back of the door and use as storage and keep things organized.

Friday, March 6, 2015

How to Create Space for the Bedroom

How to Create Space for the Bedroom
How to Create Space for the Bedroom
A familiar denominator that we can sympathize about is need of storage space. We require more space to put our things. Looks comic when phrased like that, but it’s the truth of the matter- another shelf, closet, or storage bin would make our life easier. The bedroom often becomes a dumping ground for items that we don’t have room for anywhere else. Our beloved stuff gets tossed on a chair, crammed into the closet or piled up in the corner, making the one room of our home that should be a retreat and place to unwind become the most stressful room of the home. Re-claim your bedroom in style by trying some of these storage solutions that will not only create storage solutions, but create a organized interior design to your bedroom.
Here are some ideas to create more space to your bedroom:
1- Floating Shelves

How to Create Space for the Bedroom
Floating Shelves
The idea of floating shelves are cheap and a simple DIY project that will create storage space in any room without using up valuable floor space. Stack two or three over a kitchen counter to hold glassware, spices or cookbooks. Mount one over a desk for extra storage or beside a bed to create nightstand that will hold a small lamp and alarm clock.
2- Floating Bed

How to Create Space for the Bedroom
Floating Bed
This idea is to create a ‘floating’ interior design in your bedroom by starting with a floating bed. A DIY project that will mount the bed from overhead roof joists using ropes or chains. The illusion of a floating bed can also be created by building a wooden bed frame smaller than the mattress and tucking the cover under the mattress. You will lose under-the-bed storage space with a Bed risers are inexpensive and will give you an additional six to eight inches of under-bed floating bed, but the floating theme for the room’s interior design creates a modern and clean-line look.
3- Raised Beds 

How to Create Space for the Bedroom
Raised Beds
Raising the bed up a few inches to create a more dramatic look in the bedroom plus provide additional storage space with bed risers may be the solution to a decorative and storage dilemma if a floating bed is not the answer.
Bed risers are reasonably priced and will give you an additional six to eight inches of under-bed storage space. Plastic bins with lids designed to fit under beds provide a perfect storage solution for shoes, sweaters or whatever else you need to get out of the way in your bedroom. Storage space. Plastic bins with lids designed to fit under beds provide a perfect storage solution for shoes, sweaters or whatever else you need to get out of the way in your bedroom.

4- Create Closet Space

How to Create Space for the Bedroom
Closet Space
The bedroom door or closet door can be used to create more closet space. There are a variety of over-the-door hooks and storage bags on the market which can be slipped over the top of any door in your home and used to hang coats, book bags, out-of-season clothing or whatever else needs its own space.
5- Hidden Storage

How to Create Space for the Bedroom
Hidden Storage
Decorative bins or baskets can be tucked in many small spaces around the bedroom and used to hold the items cluttering up dresser and nightstand surfaces.

Certain furniture pieces can serve double duty and provide hidden storage along with surface or seating space. A large ottoman with storage space under the top cushion or a cedar chest can both be used as decorative storage and as a place to sit and put on or remove shoes are two examples of bedroom furniture pieces that can serve double duty and easily be incorporated into the existing or new interior design.

Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics

How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
Tired of the way your home looks?  Add a fresh, updated appearance to your home with fabric! Sewing for your home can be quick and easy, and you'll have professional results using timesaving methods that require a minimum of sewing skills.  If you don't sew at all, don't give up!  Many items can be created with no-sew techniques.  Guidelines are available for selecting fabrics appropriate for your project . . . whether you’re making the items yourself or having someone makes them for you. Fabric furnishings add softness and a distinctive character to any room.  You’ll discover almost limitless ways to use fabrics in decorating with curtains, draperies, upholstery, bedspreads, dust ruffles and tablecloths.  Fabrics are both attractive and practical on walls and ceilings or when used for room dividers, padded headboards for beds, wall hangings, picture frames, pillows of all kinds and shapes, storage devices and any number of other creative uses.  Look for ideas as you browse through decorating books and magazines or page through pattern books found at fabric stores.  Take time to observe the uses of fabrics in store displays, model homes and even the homes of your friends.  Don't try to copy ideas, however, but adapt them to create your own one-of-a-kind items.
 
Fabric Choices
Shopping for fabrics can be both fun and frustrating because there’s an unlimited variety of fabric colors, textures and designs available. Consider trying an idea used by professional designers by selecting a fabric in a pattern and colors that you like as the basis for a room’s color scheme.  More companies are now offering coordinating fabrics that make designing your room a real delight.  Wide fabric widths of 54", 60", 90" and even 120" mean less piecing and also reduce both cost and sewing time.  Bed sheets provide another source for wide widths of fabric in the latest colors and patterns.

Select fabrics that are appropriate for the intended use and desired method of care.  They should also look well with the other furnishings in the room.  Study design trends for current colors and patterns and be alert to new ideas that are starting to appear in stores and magazines. Then use these new colors and patterns to give your present furnishings an updated look.

How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
Purchasing Pointers
As you are planning your project and selecting the fabric, consider the following guidelines:

* Know your budget limitations before you go out to buy. Having a price range established help to eliminate some choices immediately.

* Take time to plan your project carefully.  What colors are used in the room?  How will one pattern complement or blend with another?  What will this item add to the decor of the room?

* Measure carefully and write down these dimensions to take with you when shopping.  Also include a tape measure, pad, pencil, paint chips, fabric and carpet samples, so you'll be prepared for comparing colors and purchasing items that you need for the project.

* Be careful with color!  If you are considering either a bright or a dark color, will it be placed where direct sunlight will hit it?  Some dark colors fade very quickly, and bright, intense colors will stand out as new when combined with older furnishings in a room.  In situations such as this, choose more subdued or grayed colors.  And remember that colors change dramatically when viewed under different lighting or with different color combinations.  Play it safe by asking if a large sample is available to be taken out and viewed in the intended setting.  When samples are not available, purchase a yard to try out in your home in both daylight and night lighting.

* Examine the fabric construction before buying.  Remember that  fiber content, type of yarn, fabric construction and finishing techniques all play a part in determining the serviceability of the fabric.  As a rule, the tighter the yarns are twisted, the longer the wear you can reasonably expect.  The tighter the weave or higher the thread count (number of threads per inch), the stronger the fabric. It pays to use good quality fabrics for most decorating projects. The items last longer and give a finer finished look.  Consider, too, the  length of time you expect to use these items. You'll need a better quality fabric for draperies that you expect to last 10 to 15 years than you will for a pair of kitchen curtains that you plan to replace in two or three years.  Don't hesitate to ask your County Extension agent for help or guidance.

* Carefully evaluate the appropriateness of the fabric, color, pattern and texture, keeping the intended use in mind.   Is the fabric sturdy enough for the intended use?  Is it soft enough to drape if you want it to drape or crisp enough to hold a desired shape?

* Ask for and read carefully any labels and hang tags that are attached to, printed on or come with the fabric.  These are important guides in knowing how to care for your finished items.  If using a washable fabric, plan to pre-shrink it along with other materials, such as buckram or linings. Do not wash a fabric if dry cleaning is recommended.  Vacuum these items regularly to prevent dust from accumulating on the fabric surface.  It is recommended that fabrics be thoroughly vacuumed, dry cleaned or laundered after the pollen season for health reasons, especially if someone in your household has allergies.  Electronic air cleaners or regular cleaning/changing of the filter on forced-air furnaces will help to protect fabrics from dust.  Dust may also be removed by tumbling fabric items, such as drapery panels, in the clothes dryer without heat.

* Consider the size of a design when selecting fabric for your project.  Random patterns, small all over prints and stripes are easier to work with than large, strongly defined repeat patterns. Figuring the extra yardage that is needed for matching a repeat can become quite involved and add to the total cost of the project.  If you fall in love with a large or dominant pattern, be sure to purchase enough additional fabric to match patterns and complete the project.

* If a vertical line is important, such as for window curtains, be sure that any pattern is on-grain. Don't buy fabric that is printed off-grain or that has been pulled off-grain during finishing or wrapping on the bolt.  Examine the fabric carefully, and ask the sales clerk for help in determining if the fabric is grain perfect.

* If you are covering furniture or pillows, will the fabric require a lining to prevent showing through?  Most window coverings will be more durable and save energy if they are lined.

* Has the fabric been treated with a stain-repellant finish?  These finishes help in maintaining the appearance over a period of time.  To test the effectiveness of a stain resistant finish, drop a small amount of water on a fabric sample.  If the water beads up instead of soaking in, the fabric will repel stains.  After laundering or dry cleaning, this protective finish may need to be reapplied either by the dry cleaner or with a spray that can be purchased at retail stores.  However, read hang tags and warranties carefully for any precautions regarding recommended care and application of additional finishes.

* Buy all the fabric you need at one time and make a note of the dye lot number if available.  Dye lots differ, and what started as a raspberry color may turn brighter red in a later shipment. If a fabric continues to be available over a period of time and you decide to add more furnishings in the same or a coordinating fabric, be sure to check colors carefully before purchasing.

* Textile products and fabric furnishings are expected to be serviceable.  Ask yourself which of the following characteristics are most important--durability, comfort, care, appearance, fashion or price.  Use these rankings as guidelines when making your final selections.     

* Remember . . . haste makes waste.  Take time to think each project through carefully.  Allow time, too, to consider creative ways of finishing your project.  A little extra time and some imagination can turn the ordinary into the unusual and distinctive.
 
* Enjoy the creative process you are experiencing.  Then appreciate the praise and satisfaction you’ll receive for a job well done!

How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
Figuring Fabric Amounts
Determining the amount of fabric that is needed for a project can be confusing.  However, it's not really difficult!  Purchased patterns and project instructions give instructions for yardage and suggested pattern placement for cutting pieces.  You can also make your own "layouts" just like those in pattern instructions to make best use of fabric if using odd shapes and sizes. To do this, use graph paper to draw rectangles to scale to represent widths of 45", 54" and 60" (or 90" and 120" widths if you know that you will be shopping for these wider fabrics).  Make a number of copies to use as "master" forms.

For each project, refer to the measurements you have taken and sketch out the pieces you'll need (fronts, backs, sides) on your master.  These sketches will tell you how many yards are needed for the width of fabric you are considering.  If piecing is necessary, you will also be able to determine how many "lengths" of fabric will be required to complete the project.  (Before you actually purchase fabric, remember to consider any additional allowances that may be needed for ½ inch seams, hems, directional patterns, fabric nap, design repeats and loft from batting or filler.)

Joining Lengths of Fabrics
When figuring the amount of yardage needed, remember that the primary rule for positioning seams is to make them as inconspicuous as possible. That usually means that seams will be placed on the side, rather than down the center of tablecloths and bedspreads.

Use selvage edges when possible for sewing lengths of fabric together.  Be sure to add ½ inch seam allowances to each piece for seams.

How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
How to Add Softness to your Home with Fabrics
Matching Patterns
Any design repeat must be measured and figured carefully when purchasing fabrics.  Small prints may not be that noticeable, but larger prints can be as much as twenty or thirty inches in length for one repeat.  Measure the repeat on the fabric you are considering and add to the required yardage of each length to be pieced.  (For instance, there should be a full design repeat positioned along the top of each panel on fabric-covered walls or along the top of each curtain and drapery panel.)

One-Way Designs
If arranging pieces on a one-way design or napped fabric, such as velvet or corduroy, be sure that all pieces are placed in the correct (same) direction.  Check to be sure that patterns are matched when necessary and that large motifs are centered on cushions and tablecloths.

Also, check the design repeat across the width of the fabric to be sure that you will have enough fabric to complete your project as you would like for it to be finished.

Trims

Fringe, tassels, braid, cording, lace, ribbons and bows add distinction and character to otherwise plain items.  Consider the decorating style in the room as well as the weight and recommended care of fabric when you are selecting trims.  When planning the placement of trimmings, mark guidelines with either a water-soluble marking pen or a marker using ink that disappears. A glue stick will hold the trim in place while stitching.  Some trims can be attached with fusible fabric or glue.