Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Drapery hardware: short rods or full length?

Choosing the appropriate drapery hardware can be a challenge.  "Off the rack" hardware is seldom the best solution---unless you are able to make some type of modification.  One question we are asked quite often is "should I use one long rod or two shorter rods on my window?"

Looking back at a few years ago, we still think this was a good choice:

Before

After
  Considering the pale color on the walls but dark dining room table, we felt that the rods should pick up the darker stain color.  However, having one long "line" across the top would distract from the treatment itself.  In this case we used 2 low profile finials, not wanting anything extravagant, but not too plain, either.

In recent weeks, we've been working on a sunroom with one large window and another wall with a window/sliding door grouping.  The need for some type of fabric was obvious, although privacy was not needed from the drapery (the windows have blinds inside the glass), we knew full length panels would help soften the heavily trimmed windows, but still allowing most of it to be visible.  


Before (wall with slider and 2 windows)  


You can see that this room is all window, except for an inside wall and the entry.  A full length rod over this expanse and onto the next wall (to the right) might start looking like a race track!  It was decided we would treat each window to their own "dress panels".  The appropriate fullness, without being too full and covering the view, was a huge factor in deciding the width/length.  Did you notice there is no extra wall space by the windows to place any extra "stackback" from the drapery?  There were several obstacles to work around.....

Before, right wall of windows


After, left corner

After, opposite corner


After, right side of window wall


We hope to finish off this room next month, as soon as all the furniture arrives (notice the lonely table), and we'll get some overall photos of the room!  If you are looking at the fine details, you'll notice that we didn't use finials on these rods, just endcaps.  Drawing attention to the four different rods was not our intent, but rather to show-off the fabric.  In addition to the expanse, we had to make sure we could have custom brackets fabricated due to the size of the window trim.  The projection is larger than normal, so the "off the rack" hardware would have never worked.  Thanks to our custom hardware vendor, Helser Brothers, for helping us get the perfect solution for this beautiful home.

Keep watching our blog for more "after" photos.  We'll be ready to talk furniture, then!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The joy of pillows

One of our more popular photos on Facebook was the one above.  Who doesn't love a big leather sectional (if you have the space for it).  Our client already owned the sofa, but something just never seemed finished.  She opted for some color changes in her living room, and purchased the Hickory Chair ottoman.  Now, how to add the dark blue with some aqua and not look disjointed.......sounds like a job for some oversized throw pillows.



Aqua velvet for a softer texture

Smaller scale plaid with a navy and a small stripe of the aqua

Large scale plaid with brown, navy and aqua


Now that our fabrics are chosen, deciding on the appropriate sizes was another important factor.  The large sectional needed larger than normal pillows to take up more space, and add a sense of coziness.  It was decided that 22" would be a good size for this particular sofa, and since there was enough room to spread them out, we had them all done in the same size.  If your sofa is smaller, you might need to do a couple of sizes so when the pillows are pushed together, you can still see the ones behind the front pillow (stair-step sizes).




  The client had a large rectangular pillow purchased that would look great right in the middle!  Now, go back and look at the photo--can you imagine that sofa without the throw pillows? 

Changing the look of a room is as easy as throwing a few new pillows in the mix.  Whether they are custom made or from our ready-made pillows, enjoy the quick and easy decorative changes you can make with pillows!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

We're still taking about wallpaper

I know, you've probably just finished peeling off your old blue and mauve wallpaper last year and made a promise to yourself you'll never paper again.  But........if you could see the newest wallpapers, you might change your mind.


 We recently added wallpaper to the store and chose two totally different styles.  Above is a black background with "faux" handwriting.  The dark color absorbs light making our Beatriz Ball selection really sparkle, reflecting the light.



Another wallpaper from York Wallcoverings has a completely different feel.  The very large repeat and subtle background color was a good choice for this extremely tall wall.  It actually makes the framed artwork show off even more.  A tip for hanging art on wallpaper:  the matting makes a big difference!


The remaining photographs are from the Thibaut Wallcovering collections:


Although grasscloth is not new, the colors are fresh and there are so many more to choose from.  Just adding texture to a room will give it personality and more warmth.  If you feel like you home is lacking in architectural detail, a textured wallpaper will definitely add some interest without overpowering a room.

Another great thing about Thibaut:  they have coordinating or matching fabric!  And just like the paper, the fabrics have the best colors.  If you like high contrast, it's hard to beat navy and white.



An entry wall is another place to use wallpaper.  The small side table and mirror would be lost on such a plain wall, but they're just the right touch with this slightly more formal wallpaper.


How about the wall behind the fireplace (or the fireplace itself)?  This more free form pattern pairs nicely with the coordinating geometric fabric in the drapery.


One of my favorites---using wallpaper on the wall behind the bed.  You don't have to encase the whole room in a pattern.  Using floral wallpaper behind the headboard when there really is no room to hang a picture or mirror is an easy way to keep this room from being boring.

Have you thought of a place in your home for wallpaper?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Decorating for Fall? Try something like this.........

 Waking up to cooler mornings, going to football games, and noticing all the cute new boots in the shoe department.  That's how I know Fall is here.  Of course we still have a few warm days left, but there is something special about the changing seasons.


 Look around your home, does it still have a summer feel to the decor?  Adding in just a few of the right decorative pieces will make it feel more cozy and inviting.  Try replacing one your regular decorative dishes with a wooden bowl.  The natural wood will quickly add a warm vibe to the table.  Of course a few orange flowers, berries and stems make a great casual centerpiece.  Our richly embroidered table runners would  look rich across the foot of your bed over those extra blankets you'll be putting out.



Don't forget the pillows.  Just a few throw pillows with deeper colors and/or more texture will make the sofa look so much more inviting in the evening, and a throw or two added in the mix is even better. 

 
Cooper and gold add still another layer of richness to your Fall decor.  We have several sizes of platters in the shape of leaves that would look great on your coffee table and to as a serving piece at your next get-together.  Extra baskets sitting around to hold fruit, magazines, or those extra throws you cuddle up with when you watch TV will also add to the look.



Let us know how you decorate for Fall! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Need another reason for a custom sized sofa?

Not every home is a standard size.  Some have smaller rooms and lower ceilings, often referred to as a cottage.  Others have soaring ceilings, oversized windows and a two story fireplace!  If you live in one of the extremes, chances are you have had difficulty finding furniture to fit your home.

Jules Sofa from Hickory Chair


We are just getting started on this living room decor, but from the photo you might think this lovely sofa is a regular size of 83" (a typical length).  However, it's a full 109", made to our exact request by Hickory Chair.  If you could see the oversized kitchen counter in the background, you'd really notice that anything of "standard" size in this living room would be off.  Having an unbalanced room might not be obvious on first look, but it's that nagging thought of "what's wrong with this room, I can't get it to look right" that keeps you scratching your head.

There's much more to talk about when looking for a sofa----color, fabric texture, nailheads or not, contrast cording or not, comfort and cushions----along with the actual dimensions.  Even the so-called standard sized sofas can be wrong for your standard sized room.  Many people assume that and sofa will work, only to see it in their home and realize it is not in proportion to their coffee table or side tables.


Don't spend your time and money working around bad proportions. We can explain all the options to you and find the perfect fit for your home. You might not need a custom sized sofa, but finding the right "standard" sized furniture is an important part of decorating your home.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Infusing color-----how and where

We all become bored with our surroundings, whether at home or at work.  There comes a point we look around and decide something needs to change.  

 One of the easiest things to change in our own home would be the pillows.  We recently changed up our linen sofa with a variety of green pillows, which meant we had a good excuse to add green to the cocktail table.  However, if you look closely, the greens have some soft blues and aquas added in along with the clear glass that adds a sparkle to everything.


A shelf or mantle will need some color---and that's a great place for a large plate.  Something round mixed in with the usual squares and rectangles, or tall skinny candles holders makes a big statement.  By adding the gold elephant in front of the plate we have subtly added two colors to our table.  Semi-opaque glass can go dull if it is placed in front of a dark background, but you can also add larger pieces of color without it taking over.  The slight transparency can be good and bad.

So many barstools are brown or black---and that is because the big box stores know they will "go with" most of the cabinetry in our homes.  But what if your entire kitchen is white or brown, wouldn't a bright barstool change the look of an otherwise tired kitchen counter?  These swivel stools are available in MANY color combinations.  Ask us about them and we'll pull out the swatches for the metal finishes and cushion fabrics.



While we are on yellow, how about adding the bright color and a more unique shape to your entry table or coffee table?   If too much yellow isn't your cup-of-tea, a small dose of it might be all you need to cheer up an otherwise drab wooden table in your house.  Of course this platter is food safe so bring it onto the dining table with some sliced cheeses or some colorful olives!  We always tell people to use their "pretty plates" for decor when they aren't used for serving.

How will you be infusing color into your home this summer?  Don't wait for the Holidays to take advantage of changing something you live with everyday. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Is it time to update your home---before and after

We mentioned a few weeks ago that sheers are back.  With more variety to choose from, including embroidered sheers and the heavier casement style fabrics, it's easy to see why they are so popular.  A recent home took advantage of one of the embroidered styles and updated their living/dining room.

Before
After
 It's obvious we moved the furniture around--the beautiful buffet was hiding in the corner of the opposite wall and the loveseat and coffee table seemed to dominate the center of the room.  By moving the loveseat closer to the sofa and turning the coffee table to sit in front of the larger sofa we opened up the pathway to the dining room.  The new buffet lamps will help illuminate the lovely sheers and the whole room is now more tailored in appearance.  

A cost saving method of hanging pinch pleated sheers is on a small oval rod.  The drapery pins are placed lower on the panels and hooked over the rod so it is not visible.  This will not allow the sheers to open and close, but because of the type of fabric there is still plenty of light along with daytime privacy.

If you want to open and close your drapery panels, a decorative traverse rod or simple rod with rings can be used.   We have come to use the decorative traverse rods more and more for ease of operation----and now there are more to choose from!  


Is your home ready to be updated?  Make an appointment with Madison Lane and start making those changes........the Holidays will be here before you know it!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Another update: The family room before and after

 Our "before and after" photos are some of the most popular posts, according to Blogger's statistics.  I have to agree that it's hard to beat a good "before and after" when scanning any magazine or blog.  In fact, there are entire blogs devoted to it!

So here's one of our favorite family room updates.  I don't have good photos of the opposite walls, but there were tremendous changes to them as well.  A couple of  major changes in this shot is the track lighting changed to recessed lighting, the oak trim is painted a creamy white, and the dark murky colors are exchanged for a fresher palate.
 

While you study the before, you probably cannot see that these walls had a faux paint technique applied to them in the "before".  The color wasn't quite hitting the mark in this room---it was coming across as too chalky and a bit too taupe for the warm color in the tile.  Finding just the right paint color to unify the floor with the walls, and then accenting with the "right white" on the trim got the ball rolling in the right direction.  Adding the mix of fabrics and colors is much easier when the groundwork is done as a total game plan!

 

The fabric in these Norwalk sofas is actually a little more gold than the photograph is showing, and has more texture to it.  The green herringbone fabric on the ottoman/cocktail table adds a punch of color without being too dramatic.  It has more of a comfortable feel to it with the patterned  solid fabric and the aged brass nailheads around the sides.  This great piece of furniture, from Hickory Chair, also serves as extra seating when this large family gets together.  The green glass of the lamps is a nice bit of reflective material that adds a touch of sparkle to the room.  The shades are almost a burlap type of fabric, giving these lamps a more casual feel.
 The side tables, also from Hickory Chair, are a timeless style that will serve the owners through the next update-----and the next.......You get the idea.  If you're lucky enough to have the room, invest in side tables with a little more size to them than you might have had in the past.  They really fill in the corners so nicely in this room and help square up the other sofa to make a nice conversation area.

We'll discuss some of the other details in another post----and hopefully with some closeups of the window treatments and how they were hung.

If your family room isn't quite what you want it to be, come by and let us help you get started with your "before and after" story.

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