In an effort to help do-it-yourselfers with their home design projects, I recently started writing How-To articles for the E-How website. Of course, you will find other fun ideas thrown in, too, but many of my articles are about home improvement or decorating ideas. You can see them here. I would love for you to rate the articles and comment – either here or at the E-How website. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed – that way, you will be notified when I write a new article. Hopefully, I can inspire you to try a new project!
Monthly Archives: October 2009
Custom tile can be tricky – there are so many parts and pieces to figure out. From base trim, in corners, out corners, chair rails, end caps, bullnose and field tile to murals, inserts and borders, it can be a challenge to measure correctly! A good tile installer is a must, and ordering correctly is essential. Custom tile is not inexpensive, but it does add a one-of-a-kind detail to your home. No other home will have exactly what you do. Isn’t that nice to know? Take a peek at some recent tile design I completed:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the power of a little fabric at a window is amazing! I have been working on a new construction Victorian home – from start to finish. We just installed some dramatic drapery panels on a mitered wood rod in their dining room. The flocked fabric is so luxurious and decadent! We also put in some simple upholstered cornices in the sunroom – a more casual space. Let me know what you think!
What is your favorite paint color? Have you used a color that you just get complement after complement on? I used a Sherwin Williams color, SW6127 Ivoire, in a model home a couple years ago. I had many calls about that “yellow” paint color we used – everyone loved it! It’s a lovely, golden tan, that takes on a buttery yellow hue on the walls. Yellow can be a difficult color to select; it can get very lemony or sunny very quickly, making it hard to live with long-term.
Have you selected a color you have used over and over again? I’d love to hear about it – maybe I’ll find a new favorite color!
If the same old jack-o-lanterns have you bored to tears, try something new this Halloween season! Who says Halloween is only about orange and black? Instead of carving pumpkins, why not paint them in fun, new color tones? Spray paint pumpkins or gourds of all sizes and shapes with tomato red, ocean blue or vivacious violet to add a splash of unexpected color to your home. Group them on your front porch, entry table or kitchen island for added interest during your holiday events. Hollow them out, and use them as vases to create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for your holiday party. Use a simple burlap fabric as a textural backdrop on your holiday table. Its rough, rustic texture and natural color tones will play up the eye-popping colors on the pumpkins or metallic decor. Burlap is also very inexpensive, making it the perfect addition to your holiday budget….
See more holiday decorating ideas in the newest issue of Valley Women & Beyond Magazine, available FREE at newsstands throughout the St. Croix and Mississippi River Valleys in MN and WI.
If you haven’t seen it before, you MUST check out the Maine Cottage website! I just love their furniture; the paint colors offered are positively delicious, and the fabrics are unique and fun. The hardest part is figuring out what color and fabric combinations to choose….
In August, over 5.5 million window shades and blinds were recalled due to the strangulation deaths of at least 3 small children. October is Child Safety Month, and I thought it would be appropriate to review a few child safety measures when it comes to window treatments.
Unlike other strangulation deaths, at least one of the recent deaths occurred when the child became entangled in the inner cords of the blind or shade, not the operating cord. For example, on a wood blind, the “ladder” cords that run down the center of the blind, stretch outward, allowing a child to get his/her neck caught in the cord and suffocate.
Now, I’m all for bargin-hunting and scoring a deal. However, purchasing inexpensive blinds and shades can put your children or pets in harm’s way. Hunter Douglas window treatments were not a part of the recall, and have taken child safety beyond the recommendations required by current law. On a HD wood blind, those inner “ladder” cords are equipped with stops, keeping them from pulling out more than a few inches. This keeps children and pets from getting tangled in them. Hunter Douglas window treatments are some of the most popular on the market; quality and child safety are two big reasons for that. Systems like their LiteRise cordless system move a shade up and down with the touch of your finger – no cords! Or, PowerRise uses a remote control – always popular with husbands.
I am a fan of Hunter Douglas products – can you tell? I have sold them for years, and the company is the most innovative in the marketplace, and stands behind their products. However, if Hunter Douglas products are more expensive than what you are looking for, there are some precautions you can take to keep your family safe.
First, make sure that blind operating cords are wrapped up and out of the way, so children and pets cannot reach them. Keep beds, chairs and other furniture away from windows, if possible, so children cannot use them to reach the shades. Raise your shades out of the way, so none of the cords are accessible to small hands. Or, consider draperies or curtains, which usually operate without cords.
Hopefully, none of you have had any injuries or near-misses with your window treatments. Take a moment now to check your windows for any potential hazards, before Child Safety Month passes you by. And, leave any comments or questions you may have about window shades and blinds – I’m happy to answer them!