New! Creative Ideas on Choosing your Window Covering Style

Window coverings have a process on how you should choose your window curtains and drapes. You have three basic choices to decide from on what window treatment is best for your homes decor. You first have to decide whether you want informal or formal window coverings? Secondly unlined or lined? And thirdly the style and type of heading desired. After you have decided on the type of window treatment you are looking for you can start to finalize the design. Window coverings are influenced by several elements, which include the function of the space, the style of the architecture of the home, and the window treatment preferences of the homeowner. The resulting factor is the same window design can be treated very differently depending on the person’s taste. Imagine a dining room that has a bay window. This type of window style is usually a multi layered floor length window treatment – basically it’s a formal window covering. If your taste is a more casual laid-back style you may introduce an informal appearance of café curtains with some sill length and some tied back side panels.

What is a full formal window treatment?

A formal window covering usually will have two or three layers. The first layer may be the casement curtain and will be installed within your Windows trim area. Usually you would use a sheer, solid or maybe a lace panel that will lay straight or either gathered at the top. Over draperies usually called just draperies will be your second layer. Generally they will cover the trim and window and if there is room left stretched further to each side or even the area that is above your window. Optionally the third layer of your full formal window treatment will be a valance this is also known as pelnet that horizontally runs across the top of your window and will cover the curtain or drapery heading. Another piece of the formal window treatment is a hard valance, also known as a lanbre-quin or a cornice. It is normally made with wood, which is then covered with upholstery or some fabric. To some people by not using the third treatment it will appear like the window covering is unfinished but in all sense this depends on the taste and style that you are trying to obtain. By using heavy but curious fabrics which would include brocades, Tapestries, silks, Damasks and velvet you will enhance the prestige of the formal treatment. The downside of these fabrics is that they will require cleaning from professionals every couple of years.

What is an Informal window treatment?

An informal window treatment can consist of one or two basic layers or you may decide on having nothing at all. If you have a great window location with privacy a beautiful window can look great even without a dressing especially if you have a great view. Sometimes just some basic casement curtains look great for a casual room. If you need to cover only the lower half of the window a Café curtain can offer you privacy and not block the light. Fabrics that are used for the informal look consist of chitz, ticking, linen, muslin and gingham. A benefit to the informal window coverings over the formal window coverings is that most of these are washable and easy to take care of.

Window drapes and curtain linings

Depending whether you have a formal or informal curtain or drape covering it will often decide if your window treatment will be lined. Factors will include the amount of natural light you want in your room and the length of time you expect the arrangement will last. Unlined curtains diffuse daylight but won’t exclude it. Being the simplest form for your window covering it is still very effective by itself as a window under treatment. The unlined treatment doesn’t have the extra thickness of a lining and will stack lightly back. A good choice is to use a fabric that looks attractive from both sides so there will not be a right or wrong side for the inside or outside of your window covering. Classic choices for unlined treatments would consist of lace, mobile, Muslim and sheers that are made out of cotton or silk organza. You may even have textured fabrics that have open weaves; an unlined curtain will filter the light beautifully and give you some privacy in the evening when the lamp is on. Try consolidating sheers with window blinds and shades. Unlined curtain drawbacks are the damage from the sunlight on the window treatment because there is no lining for your window fabric for protection it will deteriorate rapidly.

Lined curtains and drapes

Lined curtains and drapes have more body, which will give you softer and deeper folds and improve the window treatment appearance. The lining will block sunlight and protect the window fabric from fading. A lining also preserves the color and increases your privacy and will reduce noise from outside. Look for linings that are treated to resist sun damage and rot, once the lining becomes deteriorated you can just realign it or just hang the window covering without the lining on. The rule of thumb is that if you line one curtain in the room do all the rest the same so they will match, Usually the lining fabric will be off-white or white although you can get colored linings you should know that this will affect the hue of the window covering when light passes through it especially in a lightweight curtain fabric get samples and test them together for a color change.

Pet Friendly Design – Solving Interior Design Problems for Dog Owners

Being a pet owner can be put a damper on design plans. There are three basic principals dog owners have come to accept: white furniture is out of the question, hardwood is too easy to scratch, and the most expensive piece of plush furniture will ultimately be the favored resting place of your canine companion. There’s a wealth of design issues to wrap a tail around that could leave any dog and his master’s mind spinning. Whether you’re a new dog owner or experienced with the frustrations of doggie design, Darlene White, of Simplicity Home Staging & Design, offers design ideas that will keep owners stylish and their dogs still presuming they are master of their domain.

Stylish Sofas:

While it’s easy to say a dog’s place is not on the furniture, trying to teach him to stay off of something that is absolute heaven to the fur is another story. Gone are the days of worn sofas embedded with the frayed image of Fido’s body in the cushion. New advances in sofa design allow pet owners comfort and style. Crypton is a nearly indestructible synthetic fabric that’s resistant to stains. It’s perfect for muddy paws and the dirt and grime doggie fur can leave behind. For a less expensive alternative, try an ultra suede microfiber, which is smooth to the touch and often sheds stains with the brush of a hand. If purchasing a new sofa is not in the design plans, try a sofa cover with ScotchGuard. These covers are stylish and come in an array of colors and designs. Sofa covers now come in stretch fabrics that make it difficult to tell the sofa has been covered. To keep the sofa fabric underneath from discoloring or fraying, place an old sheet under the cover. It will act as a barrier to protect the sofa underneath. Two fabrics to avoid: velvet and leather. A dog’s fur will cling to velvet and make it extremely difficult to remove the hair. While some owners presume leather is a good choice for dogs, it’s actually quite delicate to the nails and tasty to the tummy. There’s a reason Fido finds those expensive leather shoes delectable – the smell. The same is true for a leather sofa. A general rule of thumb for pet owners -be weary of furniture that produces a scent.

Stylish Floors:

Carpeting gets dirty, hardwood gets scratched, and for pet owners flooring options gets limited. Unfortunately, flooring choices seem to depend on the pup. If the warm comfort of carpeting is a necessity, try FLOR carpet tiles. These 19.7″ x 19.7″ tiles join together to make a full carpet or area rugs. With a multitude of styles, an owner can mix and match designs to create a custom look or select a simple traditional design. FLOR has even teemed with Martha Stewart to offer a larger variety of stylish selections. Easy to clean, if a dog soils an area, just pull it up, follow the simple cleaning instructions, allow it to dry, and return it to the floor. If hardwood is an absolute must have, stick to the harder woods which are more durable and scratch resistant: oak, cherry, maple, hickory, elm, balsa, mahogany, and sycamore. Softer woods such as birch, cedar, pine, redwood, fir, and larch will dent and scratch more easily. According to Bella Wood, small scratches can be repaired by purchasing a kit but larger scratches will require light sanding and a new coat of varnish. While some owners have had success with laminate surfaces, which comes in a variety of hardwood, tile, and slate, laminate can also scratch. Some dogs also have a difficult time walking on laminate floors. The best solution for stylish floors: stained concrete, tile, or slate. Mix and match these surfaces with carpet tiles and never worry about soiled and scratched surfaces again.

Stylish Furnishings:

Compromising furniture is a thing of the past. While metal and glass will withstand the jowls of any pup, wood is not out of the question. When selecting furniture and accessories, consider the age of a dog. Puppies will be more prone to gnaw on woods and it’s probably best to avoid wood furniture until a pup is through his terrible twos. If eliminating wood furnishings is not an option, consider crating Fido while no one is around to supervise. Chew toys and regular exercise also keeps a dog at peace and less likely to destroy his owner’s home. Installing an invisible fence inside the home allows owners to keep dogs out of a room without doors or baby gates.

Stylish Accessories:

Because dogs are like children, it’s important to be sure there’s nothing within Fido’s reach that can be hazardous to his health. Place accessories high enough that a dog cannot reach them. Pieces that are lower to the floor should be larger in scale. As a general rule of thumb an accessory should be two to three times the size of what a dog can swallow. Antiques, precious family heirlooms, and expensive pieces should be kept out of a dog’s reach. Consider getting on all fours and crawling around the room. Look at the room from the perspective of your pet to see what they see and what may be of potential interest. Large breed dog owners should come up to a kneeling position and determine what a dog can get into at this height. Then plan your accessory placement accordingly.

Stylish Walls:

Teach Fido not to jump early. Scratches and dents in walls can be difficult to repair. Flat paint will be nearly impossible to clean. Consider painting in a satin, eggshell, or semi-gloss which is the easiest to wipe up.

Doggie Design is within an owner’s reach. Practicality and function can blend seamlessly with personal taste -the owner’s and the dogs. With so many choices available, there’s no reason for owners to feel they are living in a dog house. Stylish sofas, fabulous floors, and fine furnishings will make Fido and family the envy of the neighborhood.

© 2007 Darlene White, Simplicity Home Staging & Design

Customized Vehicle Covers Can Discourage Thieves

Cars can be quite expensive, that is why proper maintenance is a must. Apart from annual vehicle check-ups, it is important to keep vehicles from damages that are brought about by the weather. The occasional scratches can also depreciate the value of a vehicle, and can make it look unattractive.

Almost every car owner is aware that they need to keep their vehicles safe, especially when they have to leave it parked for a few hours or days. Keeping a vehicle safe from the prying eyes of thieves is essential, and there are accessories that were designed specifically for this purpose.

An alarm system is perhaps one of the best vehicle protection around. Vehicles with stickers warning onlookers that they are equipped with an alarm system can easily disappoint thieves. As much as possible, thieves would want to steal an automobile that will not cause too much commotion or attract other people’s attention. They will always be looking for an easy, accessible target.

Apart from electronic devices such as alarm systems, there are other simple yet effective accessories that can protect vehicles from thieves. Vehicle covers which are typically used to keep automobiles safe from scratches and other damages caused by the weather are also great in keeping thieves at bay. Taking off the vehicle cover will take them some time, and this is not a luxury that thieves have. They are likely to get caught while still trying to remove it, which easily discourages them.

Unlike alarm systems that can be bought right away, it is recommended for vehicle owners to get customized covers. Most standard-sized covers do not offer the same protection as the customized ones, which can make them inefficient. An owner must know the specific needs of their vehicle before purchasing one.

Vehicles that are usually left under covered garages do not require as much protection as those that are parked outdoors. A car that is parked outdoors will have to endure the effects of the weather outside, and is likely to attract vandals. Those that are designed for outdoor use are made with weatherproof materials that last much longer than those made for indoors.

Another important thing to consider when buying car covers is if it fits the vehicle perfectly. This will help ensure that the cover will not fall off, exposing the vehicle to the weather. Form-fitting protection is the best way to go when leaving a vehicle parked for an extended period of time.