Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Custom Bedding Brings Warmth to Denver Loft

My client's hip Denver loft has Asian styled furniture as well as a wall tapestry, rugs and accessories. She wanted a luxurious looking fabric that would really make a statement in her bedroom. The fabric selected was a green chenille with a very luxurious nap.
We designed the style to be simple with no sharp edges. Also selected for accent pillows was a cream colored linen fabric with a very thin stripe of green and gray. This really pops against the green chenille.
Green chenille fabric adds luxury to Asian styled Denver loft bedroom
The chenille fabric makes both top and bottom pieces on this 6 section duvet cover. The duvet cover is quite thick and heavy with both top and bottom having the chenille. The center piece covers almost the entire surface of the queen sized bed mattress. The full width was split into 2 pieces to make up the sides that flow down the side of the bed. There is a hidden zipper on the top of the duvet cover for ease of access to the insert that needs dry cleaning every year or so.

The sides of the queen bed showing the seams on chenille fabric
The pillow fabric provides just the right amount of interest and contrast against the green brushed chenille. The thin green and gray stripe really stand out against the green chenille.
The accent pillows really pop against the green chenille fabric

Thursday, August 30, 2018

French Blackout roman shades

This French Blackout Roman Shade is being assembled using the Rollease Roller Shade Lift System.

For the lift system, I purchased the Rollease Roller Shade "4ft Shade starter kit" because it saves $$ over buying each individual piece on the Rowley Company website.
Recently, I have become a workroom direct buyer from Rollease, which saves about 20% over buying from Rowley Company.  The Rollease company has a workroom price list that is priced not quite as low as a distributor, but not as high as wholesale.  The minimums on the number of items required is less than 10 for larger items (i.e. tubing and clutches) and less than 5 on most smaller items (i.e. tube clips and shade stops).
The Rollease Roller Shade kit comes with everything you need from Rowley Company.
If you feel uncomfortable with assembling the lift system, Rowley Company also offers an assembled Rollease lift system already mounted onto a board with the proper spacing for ANSI Child Cord Safety standards according to the size specifications you provide to them on the order sheet.  This system already assembled can be a great way to order the first few times if you are unsure how to assemble the kit yourself. Once you order the system and see the way it is assembled, it is pretty easy to do yourself and saves on the assembly and shipping charges.
Lift system:
The first step is to cut your roller to the length you need it. For a 48" window opening you will need to cut at least 1 3/8" off the finished length to be able to fit the hardware onto the ends and onto a board.  Assemble the Rollease roller shade system by inserting the clutch into the end of the tube as shown.
 Insert the plug end into the roller tube as shown. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap the plug into the final resting place in the tube.
Cut your mounting board to 3/8" less than the size of your window opening for an inside mount. Covering your mounting board with a muslin or lining product will give it a finished look.
 Use a staple gun with air to save time on fabrication
 The board has been stapled with a lining product to give it a finished look
 Attach the Rollease Roller shade tube onto the board using the brackets

For a complete guideline on the spacing of cords etc, please refer to the latest ANSI standards for Child Cord Safety. These standards must be followed by each person that manufactures and sells/delivers an assembled shade product that has cords or closed loop cords. These standards can change.
The Rowley Company has a set of recommended instructions for deciding where to put the shade tube clips.  The shade tube clips need to be properly placed or the shade will lift unevenly. 
Be sure to follow the ANSI child safety standards for cord distance spacing etc.
After completing the assembly of your Rollease Lift system, begin the process of assembling the fabric shade. 
Warning Tags meeting ANSI Standards for Child Cord Safety
Close up detail of the Rollease tube clips, shade stop and cord lift
The assembled Rollease Roller Shade lift system completely assembled
Shade assembly
Cut the shade main face fabric:
If the shade has a pattern, you will want to consider the placement of the pattern on the width of the space you are covering with the shade fabric. Sometimes it is necessary to add pieces together to make a pleasing pattern design on the front side of the shade fabric.
For this particular shade, it was cut 16" to 20" longer than the finished length of shade and 8" wider than the finished width of shade and laid flat onto the table to begin the fabrication process.  Also on this shade, a piece of fabric will be used on the bottom as a contrasting band.  Below is shown the bottom banding already attached and the seam has been steam pressed.  (The 16" to 20" includes this bottom banding)

This is the right side of the fabric laying face down
The French Blackout Assembly:
Cut each piece of the French Blackout and lay them in the following order:
Immediately following the face fabric, lay the felt or flannel interlining piece (shown here gray felt was used), next the black sateen, next and last the lining product (a cotton sateen or even a thermal dim-out can be used).   Each piece is cut to the finished length and width of the shade.  I also serge the black sateen and lining product.  For the cut size of each piece, the final finished width size of the shade is used and the length of the final shade size plus 4"
The picture below shows the complete French Blackout laying flat on the front side fabric ready to fabricate the shade.
Assembling the shade stabilization system:
Assemble the iron on rib pieces and ribs by cutting the ribs 1" shorter than the finished shade width. Cut the iron on rib inserts the same width as the finished shade.  This prevents any dimpling near the iron on ribs when folding the shades sides seams.

Cut pieces of iron on ribs and shade ribs ready to begin assembly
8" on center of each rib tape row meets ANSI standard spacing for ribs and provides a 4" fold on front of shade
Please note that 8" spacing of the iron on rib tapes was used on this shade and this spacing allows for less than 6 1/2" length on the shrouded cord. The folds will be 4" on the front of the shade.
To keep the iron on ribs' spacing even all the way across the width of the shade, continue to follow along with your tape measure ensuring the center to center spacing as you go.
To ensure a good seal with the iron on tapes, at least a 1400 watt steam iron should be used. Test a spot that can be hidden first or a scrap piece to ensure no browning or burns will occur when you use the "very hot" setting on the iron.  A Rowenta "Steamium" 1800 watt iron was used for this project.
Use the tape measure and follow along with the iron to ensure the spacing stays 8" on center of rib tapes
Check the iron on rib tape edges to ensure a good solid seal.  If there are problems, use a hot glue gun to touch up any gaps.
Allow the iron on ribs to cool for a few minutes and then slide the ribs into the slots that are created with the ribs to proceed to the next step of the fabrication process. Below is an image of the shade with all the ribs inserted into the iron on rib inserts. Cut the ribs 1" less than the width of finished shade. This will prevent any pulling or puckering on the front side finished shade edges.
Attaching the lift cord to the shade:
Ensure you are using the ANSI standards compliant shrouded lift cord to attach to the back of the shade for lifting and lowering the shade.
Next step is to cut and lay out your shrouded cord according to how many rows of lift you will use to put the shade up & down. Typically the tape is cut 4" to 5" longer than the length of the shade.  Also, use the shade stops and tube clips as a guide for the placement of your shrouded tape onto the shade.
This ensures level and even lifting and lowering when using the Rollease clutch system.
For this shade the spacing provided for 5 rows of shroud lift tape on the lift system
When attaching the shroud tape to the back of the shade, I use a dab of hot glue from a hot glue gun on each side of the shroud tape, making sure not to get any on the portion in the center that has the lift cord.  Next, I use 6-8 pieces of thread on a needle and insert into the rib tapes where the heat activated glue portion is.  6-8 pieces of thread saves time because it only requires one insertion for each side of the shroud tape. Go through all the layers of the shade to the front side fabric.  Stabbing the thread into the iron on rib tape pieces provides additional stability to the lift system. This is because of the rib tape glue and the additional thickness of the rib tape fabric and the ribs themselves are supporting the weight of the lift and being pulled instead of your fabrics and interlinings.
Use 6 to 8 threads to save time on how many times you poke through the fabric
Close up detail of the 6-8 threads coming up through the glued on rib tape cut off with 3" tails

Use  2 tails closest together to tie a double knot then re-thread into a needle and "hide" the ends into the shroud tape

Finally after pulling the thread through with the needle glue down the ends with hot glue gun

Put a dab of hot glue onto the knotted thread. then re-thread the needle with the 3" ends, stabbing into the iron on rib and "hiding" the ends of the thread, pull through to the back side again and cut off adding a dab of hot glue to the thread ends for security.
The lift cord must be separated from the shroud on the top most fold so it can be attached to the lift mechanism.  I use an awl to separate the shroud fibers and pull the cord through the fibers.

Take note of how neat the appearance of the hidden, tied off, knotted and glued down ends look
After separating the cord from the shroud fibers, fold the shroud tape over and use a hot glue gun to secure the shroud to the iron on rib edge. The cord is free and ready to be attached to the Rollease tube clip.

 Side Seam Completion
  The next step is to begin the process of folding the side seams in for closure. To ensure the width of the shade is the same from top to bottom, measure the width at several points from the top to the bottom of the shade. Finger press a crease into the side seams before using the steam iron to press in a permanent crease or pin it temporarily and press once you've ensured correct width.  Also, when using printed fabrics, you'll want to ensure the print is even down the length of the shade. Sometimes the fabric is misprinted and the pattern is printed unevenly onto the fabric. In the case of this fabric it was unevenly printed and it would have made dimpling and shifting occur on the face fabric if an adjustment would have been made. The pattern will fade off at the edges of the shade. On an inside mount shade this is barely noticeable.
Press side seams into shade ensuring the width is correct from top to bottom using tape measure.
Finishing Side Hems:
Next step is to press the side hems in using the iron. Pressing a firm crease into the side hem; ensure you have the same width from top to bottom using the tape measure across the width of the shade as you go similar to the iron on rib tape procedure shown above.

Using a heat activated sealer tape, hot glue gun or hand sewing, complete the side hems however you choose for a clean finish.  When hand sewing in the side hems, I do not go all the way out to the face fabric as this causes a dimpling effect on the face of the shade.
Finished side hems

Connecting the shade to the Lift System:
Next step is to line up the Rollease board mounted lift device to your shade and begin the process to connect your shade to the board and lift system.  Use the shade stop tie on holes as a guideline for where your lift cords will be lined up.  This provides ensured straight lifting of the shade when it is going up and down.
Rollease Lift System Tube clips and shade stops detail
Using a hot glue gun to secure the knots on the shroud cord can be done after checking the lift system's lift ability.
Check the lift system to ensure proper operation:
I check for straight lift as well as even lift and the back of the shade shroud tape and cord to ensure no tangling of the cord in the tube clips is occurring.
Finishing the Shade Bottom
For the bottom edge of your shade, you can use the edge of the french blackout pieces as your guide. Press in with the steam iron the bottom crease that will be your edge on the bottom of the shade.
If you have several inches of fabric on this bottom edge, you will want to fold it over making a double fold. This is the space where your bottom weight rod will be placed.
Finishing the shade length
For the top portion, you will have to use your tape measure to ensure a completely even shade. You will want to measure the shade top to bottom at many points along the entire width of the shade for the best accuracy. Then using a chalk or disappearing pen, make a mark in the top where you will cut off any excess fabric.  When the shade top is cut to the right size, I then go to the serger machine and serge this top edge for a clean look.  Another way to give a clean look is use a 1" fold and press with the steam iron, staple this serged/folded edge down to the board.
I use a board that is 3 3/4" wide so I make the shade the exact length needed plus 3 1/2" extra length to wrap around the top of the board and staple. For a folded over edge add your board width minus 1/4" and then add an extra 1" for the fold.

The back of the shade when it is raised

The front of the shade when it is raised
 The shade can be raised even higher and tighter, but I wanted to show the detail of the striped fabric and the banding at the bottom.
The front of the shade when it is raised

The back of the shade when it is lowered

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Window Treatments can make window look larger and room appear taller

If you have windows that are different heights, or you just want to make them look taller and wider, read on. The secret to getting that window to look taller and wider is to make your window treatments larger than the window that you are installing them on.  When you measure for the rod, go up above the opening at least 6" and up to 12" for that tall look. For the width, you should add 10" of space on each side for each width of drapery fabric. A width is typically 48" wide finished. If your panel has pleats, it will be about 20" wide when pleated.
If your window opening is 48" wide and you have non-functioning decorative drapery panels that will not open and close, you will want to use 4 widths of drapery fabric (2 on each panel) to make it look full and to scale. This will mean you need to have at least 20" extra on each side of the window to bring your total width of the curtain rod up to 68".
The opening of glass will be completely exposed and you will have a window that looks much wider than 48".
The images below is an examples of how to make the window look much wider.
  Also, the two windows in the room had different heights and the line of sight needed to be balanced by setting the drapery rod at the height of the smaller window. We didn't use drapery panels on both windows as the balance would have been off. Too much fabric makes the room look smaller and overwhelms the room. The use of the roman shade on the second window brought balance and helped to bring scale to the second window by making it the prominent focal point in the room.

Window is 48" wide with 60" drapery rod which allows the entire 48" glass area to show
The window is 48" and the window drapery rod is 68" wide and when it was completed, the window looked wider and more prominent in the room adding a focal point for the eye to travel to.
This helps with bringing balance to a wall where the window may not be centered on the wall.
Adding height to a window treatment can make the room look taller.
The image below is an example of how to hang a drapery rod in a room where the windows are 96" to the top of the frame, but the drapery rod is placed at 108" to bring the eye upward.
Adding 10 to 12 inches to the height of the drapery brings the eye upward
The room can appear much larger when the window treatments are installed in such a way to add size to a window width and height.  In the image below the drapery panels were hung at 108" to make the window appear to be taller. And the window is 72" wide and the drapery rod is 108" giving you 18 extra inches on each side of the window so that when the drapery panels are opened, the full 72" of glass area is completely open and the views are unobstructed.
This made a very nice focal point for the room and brought warmth to the room as well.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Curtains for Tall Windows

The client had a bay window with the height of 13 feet. Currently there were white linen curtain panels hanging on the outside of the bay alcove. This made the room look small and didn't do much for the light blockage either. A Creative Touch Draperies & Interiors offered the client shutters and full length drapery panels as the solution.
The client wanted full blackout lining included in the full coverage drapery panels for this window.
The shutters were inside mounted for the best integrated look on the bay window.
The drapery panels design included a ceiling mounted traverse curtain rod that would follow the curves of the bay window. The curtains would open and close with an acrylic wand that would hang behind the curtain and not show.
Bay Window Curtains for tall windows over 10 feet
The client had musical equipment as well as a large hand loomed rug in the room and wanted UV protection. Also the room would become quite warm with the Southern exposure. Shutters were added to the bottom windows on the 3 bay windows and the top transom windows were left open. The curtains with blackout lining would provide the coverage desired at the top of the transom window area.
Acrylic wands used to open and close blackout lined curtain
The curtain and rod that were already in place are shown in the before images below:
Before image showing the rod on the outer area of the bay window alcove

Before showing both the new rod installed and the old rod still in place

Before bay window drapery panels and metal traverse rod installation
The acrylic wands were 72" long to provide plenty of leverage when opening and closing the blackout lined curtain panels. The ball bearing glides installed inside the ceiling mounted track allows for ease of opening and closing the 13 foot high curtain panels. The client wanted the bottom hems to pool and give a casual effect.
The challenges were the ceiling mounted traverse rod as well as the height of the window being over 13 feet tall. Also the weight of the drapery panels upon completion. The fabric weight plus the blackout lining also added additional weight to the treatment.
An 8 foot ladder had to be used to accommodate the installation of the metal traverse rod. Ball bearings assist the sliding of the curtain through the metal track to open and close the panels.
Preparing for the traverse metal rod installation
The challenge on a ceiling installation like this can be the materials used to create the inset alcove can crumble when drilled into. Also, you can run into metal on the inset as well and when drilling, the top plaster can crumble off leaving a large hole to deal with. If you have wood underneath, then things are good. On  the holes that had to be drilled for this install, only 2 did not hit wood. This was acceptable as there were 3 connection points on each bracket.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Curtain Advice

Do you need help figuring out what your style is? Do you struggle with what fabrics and hardware look good with your home's decor, furniture, artwork and paint color?
Acrylic might be just the thing you are looking for in a hardware.
A Creative Touch Draperies & Interiors offers Byron & Byron Halo collection.
To see high resolution images of this collection, click here and the pdf brochure will open for you.
The new collection from Byron & Byron is taking the designer world by storm. It's clean lines, ability to coordinate with any color, style or accessory makes it a great go to line for those looking for a uniquely styled curtain rod.
Byron & Byron Acrylic Hardware collection image
Byron & Byron are a company based in the United Kingdom. Duralee Fabrics has teamed up with the folks in the UK to offer this lovely collection to the United States market.
There are several finial pieces that will compliment any decor.
Acrylic finials offer clean lines
The collection offers metal finished brackets, poles, finials and acrylic or metal rings. There are three metal finishes available, chrome, burnished brass, and copper. There are 3 sizes available 1 3/8", 1 3/4" and 2 1/8".
For an appointment to view this collection, give us a call at 720-394-3715