Keep the Heat High and the Electricity Bill Low!

Did you know that you lose an awful lot of heat through your windows? Especially here in South Africa, where double glazing is not very common. Luckily, you don’t have to go through the trouble of replacing your window – you can keep the chill outside of your home this winter by covering the windows with energy-efficient window treatments!

Cosy Curtains

Curtains are a great way of keeping the heat inside while leaving your windows looking elegant and stylish.  Stick to thick, heavyweight, tightly-woven textiles to provide a dense barrier against the cold outdoor air.  Velvet, denim, suede and tapestry are great examples of thick, insulating fabrics.  Hanging curtains in layers is an energy-efficient way of keeping the heat in, while still leaving your windows looking stylish.

PRO TIP: Hanging your curtains wider than the window frame and having them cascade to the floor will seal up small spaces around the edges where heat could escape.

Keep Warm with Honeycomb Blinds

Honeycomb blinds, also known as Cellular Shades are the best and most energy-efficient window coverings you can buy. They use a series of cell pockets to trap air around your windows, keeping your rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  The cells use a unique design shape similar to a honeycomb. Also, the more layers of honeycomb material you have, the more insulation the shades will provide.

Keep Warm with Roman Blinds

Roman blinds can make for inexpensive insulating covering for windows. They are simply cloth window coverings consisting of several sandwiched layers of fabric. They cover your windows when extended and can be pulled up and out of the way using a system of string and loops.

Whatever your window treatment preference, Finishing Touches will help you save on energy consumption by supplying the best quality made-to-measure blinds and curtains.

Happy Snuggles!

6 foolproof updates for a Spring-ready home

It may be just me, but no other season has quite the effect on me that Spring has. It makes me want to change things up, throw things out, and generally, take stock of my life and my home. Getting your home ready for the new season is really simple when you look at a few key elements: windows and window treatments, and home decor and accessories. Here are my 6 foolproof updates this season so if Spring fever has not quite taken hold of you yet, you’re in the right place!

1// take it down and wash it out

spring fever

My Domaine

The warmer weather is perfect for getting your curtains cleaned. Read the care label on your window treatments and wash it in the machine if possible, or have it dry-cleaned. That goes for removable upholstery, quilts, and throws as well.

2// hang something lighter

spring fever

Homemy Design

Spring is the perfect time to add some airy sheers to your windows. Pack your heavy draperies away and replace it with light linen and cotton that can sway in the breeze. Dress up the look with some designer crystal poles, or keep it simple with a classic natural wood pole.

PRO TIP: Curtain clips that make it easy to hang and replace curtains later as the season turns. That also means that you can use simple drops of fabric as a window treatment instead of made-to-measure curtains.

3// go floral

1. hertex florence in ebony //  2. sew & such floral bunting in red  //  3. home fabrics orsay in summer  //  4. h&m slub weave cushions cover // 5. handmade by me foliage on pink wallpaper  //  6. hertex exotic in dijon  //  7. sunkissed handmade floral letter  //  8. a love supreme palm in yellow //  9. sharon b design yellow protea cushion

As I mentioned in my The Most Inspiring Things in September post, florals for Spring are hardly groundbreaking stuff. But if Mother Nature can get away with redecorating with florals every year, so can we! Floral Roman blinds, scatter cushions, prints, rugs – anything that brings blooms into your home. Finishing Touches has a great variety of materials you can choose from so that it will light up your room this Spring. Make use of their made-to-measure service to make sure that your blinds fit your window perfectly. Here are some of the bright and breezy fabrics on offer!

4// lighten up textures

Anthropologie

Pack away tweed, wool, heavy quilts, hide, thickly woven accessories, and throws. Replace them with light cotton bed covers, cotton throws, woven textures, and light fabric prints. Just this textural change alone will already make a huge difference to your interior.

5// throw some light around

spring fever

West Elm

Mirrors are an amazing way to bounce light around the room, so get that glorious spring sunshine into every nook and cranny with a few well-placed mirrors.

6// and as always, declutter and throw out

spring fever

My Domaine

The amazing thing about sorting out your home is that it seems to clear your head as well. Our homes are a reflection of ourselves so, if your home is a cluttered mess, chances are you don’t have a lot of mental and emotional clarity either. Clear out the old and redundant and make way for the new! I dedicated an entire section in my FREE e-course on decluttering, so if you haven’t yet signed up for it, you can do so here.

Happy Spring!

This post is proudly sponsored by Finishing Touches.

 

Light Layers Of Window Dressing for a Small Cottage

A light-filled home is on most people’s priority list. Because let’s be honest, those amazing interiors that you covet on Instagram and Pinterest are never of dull, lifeless and dark rooms. But what to do then if you live in a place where it gets inappropriately hot in summer but you have beautifully light-filled rooms? I was faced with this conundrum recently while redoing the cottage that we have on the farm. The bedroom windows face both west and north, the open-plan living/dining room and kitchen have windows facing south, west and north. This provides for ample light but little in the way of reducing heat gain in the summer. Here is what I came up with to dress the windows of this small space with the help of Finishing Touches.

1// LAYERING

providence cottage

Especially for a guest bedroom, layering window dressings give the occupant ultimate control over the amount of light allowed into the room. Have blackout curtains on a separate track to dress curtains so that they have the option of completely blocking out the light, or just diffusing it. Using 105mm Fluted Designer Pelmet Poles gives you the option of having 2 layers of curtains with a wooden pelmet fitted to the front for a slick finished look.

2// BLINDS

providence cottage

Blinds are such a fantastic way to regulate both sunlight and heat gain in a room. By tilting a blind upwards, you allow the sun’s rays and heat into the room. By tilting down, you create a shadow which still allows light in without the heat. It’s basically the difference sitting under an umbrella versus not sitting under one. I chose white aluminium Venetian blinds in the living areas to blend with the walls. Darker blinds in the bedroom further aid blocking the light when they’re closed. The blinds are doing such a fantastic job in the bedroom, complemented by simple eyelet curtains on understated 35mm Designer Range wood poles.

 

3// KEEP THE FABRICS LIGHT IN THE LIVING AREAS

providence cottage

Heavy drapes are great for large rooms, but when it comes to smaller spaces it’s best to stick to lightweight fabrics. These faux silk curtains are light and airy while sufficiently diffusing the light when they’re drawn. For more on how to choose fabrics for a room, click here!

4// ADD A TOUCH OF GLAM WITH 20mm

providence cottage

Curtains can work at a variety of lengths, depending on your needs:

  • make them 20mm shorter than floor height to simplify cleaning underneath (this is my least favourite)
  • keep at floor level (standard)
  • make them 20mm longer so that they “sit” on the floor

By making them longer, it puffs up the curtain and makes it look much more elegant. Adding a darker border to each curtain will hide any dirt that may get on them at the bottom.

5// DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BATHROOM

A small white aluminium Venetian blind ensures privacy in the bathroom while allowing for enough natural light to enter the room. Make sure that the window is always slightly open to prevent moisture from damaging the blind in the long run.

Happy Decorating!

All of the curtain accessories and blinds in the cottage were graciously sponsored by Finishing Touches.