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Design with style: consider vertical blinds

635826716154671584-HES-SUB-110915-Luminette-300x225Sliding doors and French doors provide an interesting entrance while allowing more light to enter a living space. Natural light, usually viewed as a positive, can become a problem when the sun is in your eyes during dinner or breakfast. It also can affect the screens on your TV or monitors. Many times the consumer doesn’t think about the damage that the sun may be doing on the furnishings or flooring as it shines into a room.

If you decide to put a traversing drapery on your sliding or French door, you may be blocking the view or natural light that you wanted. To open the drapery wide enough to take advantage of the full glass, the drapery will need to be approximately 1/3 wider than the glass it is covering. That amount of space is not always available, and you might not want that much fabric.

When I get a call to discuss this challenge, often I also hear, “I’m not interested in vertical blinds.” First, I explain that verticals do provide an answer with a small stacking width, and then I tell them there are many more vane options available. Clients might be expecting a PVC vane, but woven fabrics with sewn-in weights on the bottom can add texture with a softer appearance. Also available are wood vertical slats to add a warmer feeling.

For a more formal or upscale space, Hunter Douglas offers Luminette. This product combines the advantages of a vertical blind, but has a sheer fabric on either side of the slats. You are able to tilt the inner fabric slats to the degree of privacy desired while enjoying the elegance of sheers. When they’re completely opened, a minimal stacking space is used.

The most popular solution that my clients choose is the Horizon woven wood drape called Averte.  With dozens of woven wood fabrics available, most room styles can be coordinated.  A warm cherry- or walnut-colored slat that blends with the room’s cabinetry or trim leans towards a traditional style. A nice blend of multicolored grasses and reeds can be used in a room that has a more tropical theme, with rustic options available for a more casual space. The track that this product is mounted on can be hidden under a decorative valance of either the same woven wood or an endless variety of fabric options. The track is also offered in decorative wood poles in many colors, with lots of options for finial styles.

To operate the Averte, you simply slide the leading wood edge. No cords!

Both the Averte and Luminette can be motorized so that with the touch of a remote control or iPad you are able to control the light coming through your sliding or French doors.

To view the photos in colour, read the design blog “Dream It, Design It” at blogs.publicopiniononline.com/dreamit.

Colour Bravery

colour bravery

 

What’s your favourite colour? Red, Green, Yellow? Each colour we hold dear could be said to represent something key about our personalities, Purple; Spiritual, Green; Balance, Red; Strength.

If you were asked the question; what’s your favourite colour regarding your interior? Would you be so forthcoming and daring?  Would White, Magnolia or Beige be the ‘safe choice’ amongst us? maybe so, but it can definitely be said that the times they are a changing.

It was just 10 odd years ago when the TV show ‘Changing Rooms’ rocked the nation when Anna Ryder Richardson painted a room red and the homeowner hated it.  Red, yes red, we muttered amongst ourselves on our coffee breaks.  To Anna’s defence it was the home-owners favourite colour but lifting that brush and painting that wall was just one envelope push too far.  So 10 years on, what has happened, are we more open, has the influx of interior and DIY programmes, magazines and all round acceptance of things just that little bit different made us slightly more cool as an nation or dare we say it more cosmopolitan in our mind-set?

Now for the science bit, it has been said that in design, colour is the most subjective area in decoration and no amount of research will predict how two different people will respond to the same shade. At the same time, almost any generalization you can make about a particular colour can be overturned in practice. However, one truism holds true for everyone, all of us are instinctively drawn to specific families of colours which repeatedly pop up in clothes, treasured pictures or possessions, and of course on the reverse, there are colours which we will absolutely detest.

Knowing personally what we like, now is the time to embrace and apply colour to our interiors, the once trickling filter from high-end designer to high-street has gathered momentum, we have a wealth of colour to choose from.  Just have a peek at a Dulux or Crown paint chart and feast at the choices they present us.  Have a meandering stroll around Next or M&S and indulge in the key colour accessories they have. Curtain fabrics, cushions, flooring, tiles, colour is everywhere and with web tutorials, interior magazines and stylist blogs to help us along the way, we can now make educated choices and tap into our own interior makeovers.

Bland beige should be banished, the colour revolution is now.  Add mood, zest and personality to your interior.  Colour should not scare but rather be embraced.

Now armed with this knowledge, bravely go forth and add COLOUR to your life.