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.


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.


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.



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!


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.


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.


How to make your own wall art in your rental home

Knowing how to decorate your home can be hard when you have limitations as a renter. Anything that is done needs to be able to be removed easily, without leaving any marks or holes in the walls. Washi tape is a great solution as it lets you add a little personality to your space, while still remaining easily removable, with absolutely no fuss.

You could use any design you like, but origami works well as it’s made up of straight lines.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

What you need:

Washi tape
Painters tape or masking tape (optional)
Design (Click here to use this design:¬†[download id=”13108″])

What to do:

Start by finding your design, measuring out the length of each line and then scaling it up to be the size that you want it to be. The easiest way to scale it is to measure the length or height of your printed out version and then see how much that length needs to be multiplied by to get the final length you want it to be on the wall. That number then becomes your multiplication factor for all the other lines. Look, there is a use for high school math after all!

Example: The total width of the printed hummingbird measures 23cm (seen recorded on the rough sketch). I wanted the final bird to be roughly 70cm, so multiplying by 3 kept¬†it simple, making the final width roughly 69cm. The left-hand line measures 9cm on the printout, making its final washi tape size 27cm (9×3=27).

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Using painter’s tape (or extra washi tape), mark out the rough area where your final design will be. The final dimensions may differ slightly from those you calculated, as it does not take into account the width of the actual washi tape and slight changes in the angles of the lines. Stick your printed design on the wall for easy reference.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Starting sticking your washi tape strips from one corner, and work your way across the picture. Place your washi tape according to the printed picture. For awkward corners, cut the tape a little longer and leave it for now.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home


Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home


















Once all the pieces have been stuck to the wall, go around with scissors and neatly cut off the little extra ends left at the corners.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

What other rental decor ideas have you implemented in your space?

8 tips for decorating small rooms

It can be a daunting task to decorate a small space while remaining airy with all the functions you still want it to fulfil. We have found these eight tips for decorating small rooms to be very handy and in most cases, bullet proof!

#1 Height and width

Use gloss or metallic stripes either horizontally to create the illusion of width or vertical ones to create the illusion of height in a small space.


flickr shelterness

#2 Old perceptions

Instead of painting your room all white as the old rule goes for small spaces, rather paint one wall dark to give it depth. This really works, tried and tested! They are called receding walls for a reason.



#3 Pure colour

Use bright colour tones instead of muted ones when choosing a colour palette. It not only adds a contemporary twist but does wonders for a small space by injecting energy. Try a bright tone on the inside of bookshelves or even window sills.


sfgirlbybay woonblog

#4 Scale

The most important thing to remember is to have your furniture scaled correctly for the room. Having oversized furniture will only add to your space dilemma.



#5 Reflections

Add reflective and transparent décor accents to the room rather than solid, bulky ones to give an airy feel and sense of luxury. These include mirrors or mirror-clad furniture, glass vases and transparent pieces like a ghost chair.


homeyohmy bloglovin

#6 Be open

Adding open shelving also creates a sense of depth and works wonders in a small space. Remember not to clutter up the shelves with trinkets but rather display your most beautiful items and keep it organized.


thebudgetdecorator remodelista

#7 Accessories

Echo pattern and colour pops for a cohesive feel in a small space, making the room come together as a whole.


bhg petitandsmall

#8 Work it

Buy multifunctional furniture, like loft bed that has desk space at the bottom. This will save floor space by combining two pieces in one.


stylecaster abouthome

I hope you found this post inspiring and that you will be brave enough to incorporate some of these ideas in your own home!

Happy styling,


Decorating with books

I use books in almost all my shoots as a styling element. Stacked vintage books with worn covers with a tea cup on top or just an open one on a beautiful piece of furniture adds a lived-in feeling to a photograph.

In our homes, books can also be used as a decorative element if displayed correctly. A wall of colour coded books can add color blocking that complements your color palette.

I have found simple and very clever ways of playing with books.

I simply love the scatter on the left. Perfect for the bedroom and the detailed wallpaper on the right with layered pages of books and floral cut outs.

Books_1 Bellahem

Why not turn your fireplace into a magazine and book storage space in summer?


The cupboard on the left was given a facelift with a new layer of paint and is now used as a bookcase instead of the traditional display cabinet. The lamp base on the right is made up of a stack of vintage books as a quirky twist.


My absolute favorite DIY in this post is the vice grip on the left. It’s simple and graphic with lots of personality. Let the hunt for one of these begin! The salvaged reel on the right has been transformed into a coffee table on wheels with dowels sectioning off the spaces between books.


The tree like bookcase on the left will make a striking feature wall and the turquoise vertical shelf will work beautifully in a small space.



Bring on the color blocking!

Books_3 paperblog

This pigeon hole wall of books adds visual interest to the shabby chic interior.


Printed books wallpaper is just another way of celebrating the written word.


For the more industrial revolutionists amongst us – what about a pipe bookshelf? Have a look at the bookshelf DIY Germarie did a while ago.


If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to email me at

I’d love to hear from you!

Happy styling,

margaux 200px