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Throw – the ‘must have’ accessory for winter

During the winter evenings you can add extra warmth in your home by choosing a throw or blanket. Choosing the right throw will depend on where and how you will use it.  They can be used in most rooms, draped on sofas, chairs, beds and window seats and are a good way to brighten up a room and add interest.  Throws can also protect your sofa from stains, animal hairs and dust or cover a tired pattern.  Compared to buying a new sofa it is an inexpensive way to add changes.

For a cosy feel, soft throws work the best as these can come in contact with your skin so you don’t want anything too scratchy.  Faux fur, chenille and velvet are very tactile and create depth and texture to a room.  Unfortunately they are not so easy to clean if used on a regular basis, so before buying it is wise to check the care and washing label.

Throws come in a variety of fabrics, colours, textures and designs.  Heavier fabrics do not drape as well as lighter fabrics. It is a great way to add a splash of colour to a monochrome colour scheme or choose throws that contrast or compliment your existing decor. If your sofa is floral perhaps try a small herringbone pattern. You can have any number of throws, two or three in complimentary patterns and colours work well, there are no rules.

Throws can be neatly folded and placed over the back of the sofa or chair or they can be draped over the arm.  Folding it in a triangle and laying it over one arm of the sofa creates a relaxed look.  If the sofa is L shaped they can be neatly folded at the end or casually draped. You can re-arrange them each day for a different look.

You can add a touch of luxury with embroidered silk and satin in the bedroom. Quilted throws can be folded down at the end of the bed.

Bed throw

You can also choose a seasonal throw, linen and cottons in summer and wools and faux fur in winter.  Why not invest in a Christmas throw which can be brought out each December for a festive feeling.

Sofa Throw

Whatever the weather and whatever your taste there is a throw blanket to suit everyone.

Sarah x

If you require any further information on this post or any other post please get in touch by filling in the contact form or calling me on 01442 808809.

Looking back on Autumn

Looking back on a beautiful October as the last of the leaves fall and the winter chill has arrived.  One thing I appreciate in my job is working with colours especially with fabric.  Nature provides us with lots of inspiration for beautiful prints and designs from birds, trees, flowers, animals and the changing seasons.  Luxurious soft furnishings are available in warm tones of Autumn maple (an orange shade) gold, brass, copper and blush.

Here are some of my pictures of Autumn.

During Autumn the ground and paths become a carpet of browns, reds, oranges and yellows.

Hot day in Jersey October 2018

Conkers in Berkhamsted

Autumn on the moor, people are sitting on the grass

Autumn mood board

Autumn for me is the most colourful time of the year and Christmas is my most creative time of year.  What’s your favourite time of year?

National Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today, 27th October 2018 is black cat appreciation day, this is a day to celebrate and promote black cats.

Black cats and black & white cats can take longer to be adopted from cat shelters than other cats. This is a real shame as they are just as adorable.

A couple of black cat facts:

The Egyptians considered black felines to be lucky.

Sailors and pirates considered the ship’s black cat to be lucky.

Black cat fabric by Chatham Glynn

In recognition of today I have made some black cat lampshades out of the fabric above.  The fabric is black cat by Chatham Glynn. This is a canvas style fabric that not only looks good but is very easy to work with.

Drum lampshade in black cat fabric

Lampshades can be handmade in different shapes, sizes and fabrics.

If you would like any further information on lampshades then please get in touch by filling in my Contact Form.

Happy Caturday.

Sarah

 

What’s new in blinds and shutters

I have just returned from a trip to Coventry….. where I attended a very interesting trade event as a customer.  This was the blinds and shutters show.  It was a chance to see all the products that are on the market and take a look at the new products due to be launched.  At the arena there was over a thousand square metres of companies showcasing the best they have to offer.

On display was a wide range of internal and external shutters, awnings, blinds, shading systems, machinery and textiles including manual and electrical versions with lots of solutions and services.

The Duette blind is my popular choice at the moment.  This has a lite-rise handle to move the blind up on down.  This is available in many colours and there is also a black out version. It has a neat head rail and can butt up to another blind with less of a gap than conventional roller blinds.

Side profile of the Duette blind

The highlight for me was  the TV personality George Clarke who gave an ‘Amazing Spaces’ presentation with a question and answer session to follow.  George Clarke spoke about shading solutions and architecture.  I did not get a photo of him as I thought it was rude to get my phone out and start snapping away.

Medieval and Ikea in Coventry

I also got to visit Coventry cathedral and an art gallery the day before.  It was nice to make the trade event a work treat with a night stop and a leisurely breakfast.

Coventry Cathedral (the intact ruins)

Hopefully I have found some new suppliers with some great samples and will enjoy showing these to my customers.

Duette blinds, vertical, rollers, Venetians, shutters and perfect fit blinds all available in the latest styles. Call  to arrange a FREE home visit or further information on 01442 808809 or fill in the contact form.

 

Get ‘autumn cosy’ with soft furnishings

As September arrives the evenings are already feeling a bit more chilly as we sadly wave goodbye to our glorious summer.  As the evenings draw in, it’s time to make your home more warm and inviting.   So after you have been out blackberry and apple picking, then baked your pies and crumbles, you might want to relax indoors with some cosy soft furnishings.

You can add a warm glow to your living room by adding cushions, throws, rugs and other accessories.   To create a cosy feel, choose colours that are warm and welcoming like deep reds, plums, dusky pinks, autumn maple and chestnut brown. Navy blue is still a popular colour this season teamed up with gold.  Navy blue can work as a neutral or accent colour.

Brodie fabric collection by Kai

Gold, copper and brass also add a warmth and richness to your interior.  A great way to introduce these metallics is on the insides of lampshades or by adding photo frames and tealights.

Layering your soft furnishings helps achieve depth and gives a sense of luxury.  Mix texture, pattern and colour.  A room can seem a bit flat if one of these elements is missing. The bigger the fabric pattern the more full your room will feel.

Adrienne fabric collection by Kai

This Autumn we will see chunky knits, luxurious velvets and tartan checks. For the ultimate in cosiness a wool blanket or a faux fur throw will add texture and warmth and is lovely to snuggle up in.

For those dark interiors and with fewer daylight hours, add candles and lamps to brighten gloomy corners.

When your home is cosy and ready for Autumn, relax and snuggle up on your sofa with a good book.  Treat yourself to a big mug of hot chocolate and look forward to winter and lots of Christmas cheer.

 

 

Roman Blind – How to dress a window in a north facing room.

North Facing Window

This north facing window used to have short blackout curtains on a Geo stainless steel pole. The window is just over a metre drop and has a small Victorian style radiator underneath.  As the bedroom is a small room, the previous curtains jutting into the bedroom seemed to close the room in and make the room look smaller.

To maximise the space and light in this bedroom I decided to have a black out roman blind fitted outside the recess.  There is not a great deal of space between the ceiling and the top of the recess so the roman blind is fitted just under the ceiling.

Fitted just under ceiling

By placing the blind under the ceiling this gives the illusion that the window has a larger drop and makes the window look bigger.


When the roman blind is open the folds does not cover the glass too much and obscure the top of the window. This helps to maximize the light.

I wanted to create a modern look and in my opinion this was the perfect choice. The good news was that I didn’t need to buy a lot of fabric. Roman blinds needs much less fabric than curtains.

I could have had this fabric made into a blackout roller blind but the folds on a roman give a softer look in this instance.

Iliv birds Scandi fabric in colour capri

The fabric chosen is Iliv Scandi Birds colour Capri. It gives a modern fresh feel to this small bedroom.  I have made a matching drum lampshade and bed cushion.

Matching Drum Lampshade

These little birds have flown home to roost and I love them, I hope you do too.

Enjoy the bank holiday,  Sarah

How to make a Lavender Bag

You will need:

Fabric length 35cm x 12.5cm

Scissors

Needle

Cotton thread (colour to match the fabric)

Ribbon (approx 40cm length)

Dried Lavender

Fold the fabric right sides together to form an oblong.  Sew up each side with a seam allowance of 1cm,  keeping the top open.  Trim the corners so there is less bulk when you turn it inside out. Be careful not to trim too close to the stitching.

Fold the edge of the fabric down about 5cm

Next, turn the oblong right side out.  Your fabric is facing the right way now.  This is your basic bag.

Dried Lavender

Fill the bag with dried lavender.

Using a double thread using a basic running stitch, sew about 4.5cm down from the top of the folded fabric.  You need to hide the top raw edge inside the bag.

Pull the thread to form the ruffle and then tie off the cotton.

Lavender Bag

Tie the top of the bag with a contrast ribbon.

You can now place your pretty little bag in a drawer or wardrobe. They are perfect for making your clothes smell fresh and keeping moths at bay, or you can put them under your pillow to help you sleep.  I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do.   Best wishes  Sarah.

Inspired by Nature

Lavender and Sunflowers in Provence?   No this is Hitchin in sunny Hertfordshire where the fields are a beautiful purple and yellow from June until September. As you get out of the car the smell of the lavender is amazing. It is also reassuring to see lots of bees. Armed with scissors and a paper carrier bag given at the entrance, I picked to my heart’s content. I walked between the lavender rows to the brow of the rolling hill, then looked back at England’s pleasant countryside.

After a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant and a visit to the gift shop where I resisted the lavender chocolate for sale, I headed home.

 

As I left this wonderful place I thought ” What a great way to spend a sunny morning.”

At the moment the house smells of lavender which I am busily drying for future projects. In the meantime I have made some lavender bags.   I will show you how to make these in my next blog , they are very easy to make.

Home-made lavender bags

Best Wishes

Sarah

This fabric is a ‘reel’ find.

Hope to create something lovely with this fabric very soon when the weather is cooler.  This fabric is Ian Mankin Skye Check in colour oatmeal.  It is a cotton linen blend and being a weave has a very good weight to it.

In the meantime I am enjoying playing with some props in my workroom. I love my old cotton reels, so couldn’t resist having some of them in the photo and adding this old tape for good measure!

As if by magic….. I am very pleased with the result, just hope my customer is.  This is an interlined roman blind for their study.

Roman Blind in Ian Mankin Skye Check Oatmeal fabric

I hope this gives you some creative inspiration.  If not, please contact me and I will be happy to help.

Best Wishes Sarah

 

 

 

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