This pandemic has completely altered the relationship with our homes. It gave us the time to do all those house jobs that have been put off “till a rainy day” or to spend more time in our gardens. Now, many of us have the opportunity to wonder at the marvels of nature as well as giving it a helping hand. So, here are 2 main changes you can do with your home - change your decor and create more space.
1.Change your Décor
Many companies in the DIY and Home Improvement industry such as Poles and Blinds have managed to weather the storm, although with great difficulty. We made it possible for you to still alter the interior design of your home, even if it is just painting the walls or altering your window treatments.
Change the Curtains
Curtains are extremely important, not only for providing privacy and a degree of insulation. It also provides one of the most important decorative elements in the room.
Replacing your curtains is probably one of the most noticeable changes you can easily make to a room. Ensure that your curtains are well made as unlike a few years ago when pelmets were in fashion and were able to hide a multitude of faults, with modern window treatments, there will not be any decorate features to divert the eye.
Your choice of curtain pole is as important as your choice of curtain fabric and style of curtain heading.
Most Popular Styles of Curtains
Pencil Pleat Curtains
This type of curtain heading is still the most popular, especially for readymade curtains where there may well not be an ‘off the shelf’ measurement to suit your window size. The curtains are made using a heading tape that has the option of three different heights to fit the curtain hooks as well as having three rows of draw strings that are pulled to gather the curtains to the correct width to suit your particular window. The finish effect gives the curtains their name as the pleats resemble a row of upright pencils when gathered.
How Can You Fit Pencil Pleat Curtains?
Pencil pleat curtains can be successfully fitted to either a curtain pole or a curtain track.
1. Measure the curtain pole so you can gather the curtain to the correct width. Each curtain needs to be gathered to half the length of the pole.
2. Tie off one end of the draw string before you start to gather the heading or you will pull the strings out of the heading tape. The knotted end of the strings should be on the leading edge of the curtains which face each other at the centre of the window.
3. Lay the curtains face down onto a clean surface. To ensure that the pleats are evenly spaced. It is best to mark the centre of the curtain heading before you start to pull the strings at the other end of the tape as you will then be able to see if there is roughly the same number of gathers either side of the mark.
4. Always fit the curtain hooks in the slots provided in the heading tape, not through the draw strings.
When fitting the curtains to a pole, they will need to hang below a pole with the curtain hooks fitted in the top slot position of the heading tape, whereas if the curtains are to be fitted to a curtain track, then they will need their hooks fitted in the middle or even the bottom hook position on the tape so the curtains can conceal the track when they are in the closed position.
Pinch Pleat Curtains
When opulence is the keynote, made to measure pinch pleat curtains, particularly if they are interlined, make the perfect choice and will give you the opportunity to let your taste shine through. Both types of pinch pleat offer a window finish that will always stack well when open and when closed will be spaced equally across the window frame.
Triple pinch pleats give a more traditional look and have been popular for decades.
Double pinch pleats are a fairly new arrival and are less formal. They are also often fitted behind a pelmet or architrave because the pleats on the heading will maintain the folds throughout the drop of the curtains.
How Can You Fit Pinch Pleat Curtains?
1. This type of curtain is fitted to the curtain pole by a sharp metal hook that is literally stabbed through the back of the pleat. The best way to do this is to lay the curtains face down with the curtain lining side facing upwards.
2. Push the sharp point into the back of the pinch, which is clearly visible by a seam. Keep pushing until only the hook is visible.
3. The pinch pleat hooks should be fitted as near to the top of the curtains as possible, but without being seen from the front. The curtains when they are fitted must hang slightly below the actual curtain pole so they can fold back and forth under the pole.
When simplicity is the keynote, a more casual style of curtain heading, such as eyelet curtains will be ideal. Shop for eyelet curtain poles.
This is a very informal style of curtain. The curtain pole simply slotting through the eyelets which are fitted at the top of the curtains. When the curtains are open, they stack to the side of the window in neat folds, and when they are closed, they create a continual wave effect across the window. To look their best when they are closed, this style of curtain will need a few seconds of arranging. Unlike pinch pleats, eyelet curtains have the extra amount of fabric. Thus, to give fullness to the curtains, you need spread them evenly over the width of the curtain.
How Can You Fit Eyelet Curtains?
1. When you hang eyelet curtains, take the first eyelet ring and slide it along the curtain pole taking care that the leading edge of the curtain is facing the window otherwise you will see the curtain lining when the curtains are open.
2. Continue to slide the eyelets onto the pole, but do not fit the last eyelet because this one is fitted the other side of the curtain pole fixing bracket which will stop the curtains from sliding out of control across the window.
Tips for successfully fitting your curtains.
1. When fitting full length curtains, it is worth knowing that the curtains may ‘drop’ by up to a centimetre when they’ve been hanging for a week or so, due to the weight of the curtain.
2. Once you are happy with how you have attached the curtains to the curtain pole or curtain track, carefully open the curtains and then starting at the heading, gently run one hand down the fold while holding the rest of the curtain behind the fold to press the fabric into position you are creating and then work your way along the width of the curtain.
3. Fabrics have a memory so if you fold the pleats to where you want them to fold and then secure them in that open position for a few days, either using curtain tie-backs or holdbacks.
4. If you are not using any method to hold the curtains away from the window opening during the day, then use a couple of strips of any old fabric, ideally tied in three positions down the length of the curtains will do the same thing.
Ideally leave your curtains ‘dressed’ in the folds for a few days so then you come to use them, they will hang in the set folds.
5. Sometimes you may need to iron your new curtains before you fit them, especially if they are readymade. These curtains in particular may have creases from where they have been folded in their packaging. You should always iron curtains on the lining side rather than the curtain fabric side.
Related: How to Make a Room Look Larger
2. Create More Space
Make an area that can be permanently designated for a particular activity or hobby. Looks like it is going to be increasingly important if this social distancing is to become the new norm. So creating a 'special space' means you will not have to spend as much time clearing away as creating. Here are some ideas how you can make more space at home.
Convert a loft
A great idea, but you will need a well thought out budget. Bear in mind, that you may well never be able to recover the investment when you wish to relocate. These sorts of projects often cost more money than you had originally hoped for. They do however make bright and airy rooms as they usually are fitted with roof light windows.
A garden shed
The very concept of the garden shed is now in question. Should a valuable space be filled with out of date tins of paint and a load of gardening tools when you could get by with a shovel and a fork. It is pointless saving discoloured and often foul smell paint, should you ever come to use it, so bin it first as last.
Sheds make a wonderful secluded place that can, with a bit of thought, be an extension of your living area, as long as they have been erected on a solid base and connected to an electric supply for heat and light.
You do not normally need planning for a shed, but if you are thinking of having one, check first with your neighbours, not only out of courtesy but also the last thing you need when you are located in your new work or hobby area, is a letter from the local planning officer as your disgruntled neighbour has made a formal complaint.
Rip out your en-suite bathroom
An en-suite bathroom is no longer a must have requirement. If you are a computer addict or a home worker short of space for your home office, consider justifying the 10 minutes a day that you spend languishing in the shower against getting back to taking a turn with the rest of the family for the bathroom. Perhaps, it's time rip the whole of the en-suite out? This may seem a little drastic, but certainly the necessity of an en-suite bathroom when space is at a premium could be called into question.
I should not have designs on ripping out the downstairs loo, especially as they are considered a must have for modern family homes and may also affect resale value of your home.
I hope that you are managing the strangeness of this new world and that you find things that can help. For examples, discovering a love of nature which I believe is one of the key remedies for dealing with the stress of life at the moment.
Life goes on as normal, in fact better than normal, for many of the other inhabitants of this planet, many of which have been socially distancing, otherwise known in the animal kingdom as mutual avoidance for their entire lives.
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