Month: July 2018

Fringe Benefit

Bullion, skirt and tassel fringe has made a comeback, you can now see it on sofas, armchairs, lampshades, cushions, footstools and even earrings.  This is good news for me as I have always been a fan of trimmings or passementerie.

Passementerie is the art in making beautiful trimmings such as tassels, braids, gold or silver cord, pom-poms, gimp, rosettes, fringing or edgings for clothing, uniforms or furnishings.

Ten years ago when I was learning the soft furnishings trade I was lucky enough to be given some ex display curtains with spare fabric.  The fabric was embroidered magnolias by Zoffany.  I decided to make a matching bed runner and cushions with the spare fabric then chose bullion fringe and ruche trimmings to compliment this.  I guess it was a little 1980’s but I wanted to know how to work with these embellishments.  I still like the minimal, crisp, no frills look, but equally I like an opulent decorative style. Who can resist those pom-pom flourishes on the right fabric.

The curtains and soft furnishings are now over 10 years old and are still in good condition.  The curtains, runner and cushions still look and feel great.  Trimmings are very good for covering a raw edge on furniture.  They can transform curtains if you place them on the edge you pull (leading edge) or they can soften a stripe or plain fabric on a roman blind.

Perhaps my next customer will ask for a rope embellishment on the curtain heading.  Or even better, a round tablecloth with a deep bullion fringe at the bottom.  Such happy memories…..

If you would like any advice choosing trimmings please feel free to contact me on 01442 808 809 and I shall be happy to help.  Best wishes, Sarah

 

 

How to Dress a Bathroom Window

Bathroom windows can be hard to dress especially if you have a small bathroom with lots of moisture and humidity. Finding the right product can be overwhelming.  If your bathroom window is overlooked, even with frosted glass,  you need to think about privacy especially at night when the light is on.  Whatever you choose it will need to be moisture resistant. Here, are a few ideas to help you decide which product to choose.

Roller blinds

Laminated Roller blind

Roller blinds are a popular choice for bathrooms as they are practical and cost effective.  They come in a variety of colours, textures and patterns.   They are also available in moisture resistant and waterproof PVC fabrics .  You can control the light during the day by pulling them up or down with a sidewinder chain.  They can be fixed within the recess or outside the recess.    You can also chose your own fabric and have it laminated (fabric is stiffened)  into a roller blind. However, you will need to send the manufacturer a sample of the fabric to see if it is suitable for lamination.  Be aware that lamination of your own fabric will not necessarily make it waterproof and some fabrics can fade in the sun.

Faux wooden Venetian blinds

50mm faux wood louvres

Are made from PVC which has the appearance of wood.  In fact it is hard to tell the difference between PVC and real wood.  Faux wood Venetians are waterproof and are available in different colours, either in a smooth or grain finish.   You can choose to have ladder string or tapes in complimentary colours.   There is also a choice of louvers/slat sizes.  You can maximize your privacy, shade and light control by operating the cord or  wand to tilt or close the louvers/slats.  The bottom louvre/slat is also weighted to sit on the window sill, this stabilizes the Venetian and stops it moving about on a windy day when the window is open.  Faux wooden Venetians are a cheaper alternative to shutters particularly if you select the larger sized louvers.   Venetian blinds have a timeless elegance and are suitable in modern and period properties.

Aluminium Venetians

Aluminium Venetian blinds are a smart option for bathrooms.  They are contemporary, light weight and affordable. Available in matt, gloss, on trend metallics and a large choice of colours.  They come in 16mm, 25mm, 35mm or 50mm louvre/slat sizes. With venetian blinds you can angle the louvers /slats to control the light and privacy.  Perfect for over looked windows and rust resistant making them a great choice for your bathroom.  If the window is open on a windy day, they can rustle slightly and sound like wind chimes.

Plantation Shutters

Shutters with hidden tilt rods.

Shutters are a popular solution.  This sleek sophisticated product has been specially designed for bathrooms where condensation could be an issue.  They are made of a durable ABS plastic which looks identical to the traditional wooden shutters. Shutters are also functional as well as stylish and allow control of light, shade and privacy.  They are available in a range of louvre sizes and colours as well as having rust proof hinges.  Tilt rods operate the louvers to control the light and hidden tilt rods are also available.  Remember that shutters have to open into the room and this may not be possible if space is tight and your sink taps are in the way.  All shutters are custom made to fit your windows and come with a guarantee.   Shutters are more expensive than the other products but with a little care will last for many years.

Roman Blinds

Roman Blind

Suitable if you want a softer look to the window.  Choose lighter colours in a pattern as watermarks will show on plain fabrics.  Do not have blinds resting near the glass as they will be prone to mill dew.  Try to choose light weight fabrics as they will become heavy with moisture. Also be aware of the fabric fading in the sun.  If you choose natural fabrics, try to keep the bathroom well ventilated so that the moisture from the steam has chance to dry.

Curtains

Curtains are more traditional but can make a statement in large bathrooms.  Do not choose heavy fabrics like velvets and avoid silks. I recently found some lovely vintage fabric which is a light towelling.   There are also some PVC fabrics which are waterproof.  Some ready-made curtains are washable,  but are only available in standard sizes, so you may have to pay for alterations to make them fit your window. If you decide to have curtains, try to use a stainless steel pole, aluminium or plastic track to avoid rusting.  Also remember that curtains close the room in, so if you have a small bathroom choose blinds to create space.  Curtains are either opened or closed so you cannot filter the light during the day.

Fitting

When possible always get a professional track fitter to fit these products for you unless you know someone who is very good at DIY.  Bathrooms generally have tiles and in some cases need specialist drill bits to ensure a good job.

Decisions

The end decision is generally based on your bathroom size, budget and your personal preference.  All the window dressings I have mentioned offer advantages  and there are other products on the market.  When choosing your  product, try to select the best quality product you can afford as this will ensure a durable and cost effective result.

If you would like any further advice or information on choosing the right window dressing for your bathroom window call  01442 808809 or fill in the contact form and I shall be happy to help.  Best Wishes Sarah