• by Aideen McCanny
  • 04 Oct, 2017

It’s no surprise that curtains have the ability to really bring a room to life, so with such power, you’ll want to ensure you find the perfect pair. When it comes to curtains, there’s so much to consider. From colour, to length, fabric and lining, we’re here to ensure you avoid feeling overwhelmed thanks to our top 5 tips to help you effortlessly choose new curtains for your home.

Colour & fabric

 When choosing curtains, fabric is definitely key given its ability to dictate the functionality and endurance of them. Finding the right weight is vital; too heavy and they may not fold crisply when closed; too light and they’re unlikely to fall well.

To help determine if the weight of fabric is correct, try holding it up to a window, even in a showroom. Use a big piece of the material and fold it accordion pleats at the top. Watch its drape to see how it falls.

For colour options, consider the lighting in your room. If the curtains are likely to be subjected to a lot of sunlight over time, or you aren’t planning on changing them for a considerable period, avoid bright colours, which have a tendency to fade faster. Instead, choose neutral colours, which are also more likely to blend into your room.

When it comes to fabrics, linen, silk, faux silk and velvet are the most popular curtain texture choices, since they have the ability to fall well. Faux silk is usually the most durable, and won’t deteriorate as quickly as real silk, which will rot if left unlined.

You should also let the functionality of your curtains determine your fabric choice. Heavy weight fabrics such as suede, velvet, tapestry and tweed are popular choices in hotels since they work to keep out the cold.

Length & lining

When deciding the length of your curtains, consider where you want them to hang from. An easy trick to instantly add height to your room is to hang your curtains higher than the window. To measure, begin at your chosen height above the window, down to the floor. For those seeking a traditional look, add two to three inches to the length for a puddled look on the floor, or for a more modern finish, the curtains should finish flush with the floor.

When measuring the width of your curtains, add four to eight inches on each side, and then double for a full finish. If your curtains will serve the purpose of blocking out sun, those extra inches will work perfectly.

Custom creations or off-the-shelf

If your budget allows, custom curtains boast many advantages. Your curtains will be made specifically for your window and room, so their fit will be perfect for a tailored look. Furthermore, custom panels are available in endless design options, from materials to header style so if you have a specific vision in mind, this is the perfect way to achieve it.

Cleaning options

From the onset, determine whether you would prefer machine wash or dry-clean only curtains, keeping in mind that trying to wash curtains yourself can lead to their ruin.

Consultation options

If you choose to go down the custom route, consider whether an on-line or personal in-home or studio consultation is better for you. The advantage of meeting with a consultant face-to-face means they can view the room your curtains are required for, and you won’t have the hassle of trying to measure the window space yourself. The meeting will give you the opportunity to discuss styles and vision, as well as viewing sample fabrics and finishes.

At Home and Contract Design, we offer the complete custom curtain design process. Allow us to take care of everything from measuring to finding your perfect fabric and textile, as well as providing the correct curtain pole to complete the look. For more information, get in touch with Pam here .

Home and Contract Design Blog

by Aideen McCanny 21 Nov, 2017
As November draws to a close, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you're preparing to deck the halls, check out our top tips for Christmas tree decorating, for a look that wows this festive season.

Location, location, location

First things first, location is key. Finding the perfect spot to showcase your tree is the first step in ensuring it looks its best. Find a location that's near a socket to avoid leads and wires cluttering your floor and rearrange furniture if necessary. If you've opted for a real tree, choose a cool corner, away from sources of heat to avoid it drying out.

by Aideen McCanny 07 Nov, 2017

With so many people aiming to revitalise their homes in time for Christmas, here at Home and Contract Design, November and December are our busiest months. Whether you’re considering revamping a room’s soft furnishings for the arrival of guests, or taking on an entire room refurbishment, now is the time to tackle it or risk being held up due to delayed deliveries and the holiday period.

So with this in mind, here are our top tips for ensuring your home’s décor is ready in time for Christmas.

by Aideen McCanny 24 Oct, 2017
Whether it's simply a fad, or here to stay, you can't argue that hygge isn't having a serious impact in the world of interior design . So what exactly is it and why is there such hype about it?

Well, the Danish word can't actually be translated into English as it's more of a feeling, rather than an object. Hygge - pronounced hue-gah - represents a culture of cosiness, happiness and wellbeing, which is widely credited as the reason why Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world!

Hygge means something different to everyone - whether it's cuddling up on the sofa with a good book, enjoying a bowl of your favourite warming comfort food, or filling your home with twinkling candles - it's really all about being mindful of the simple things in life that make you happy, and embracing them.

The interior design of your home can have a big impact on this so with this in mind, we've put together our 6 hygge tips to transform your home into a comfortable haven.

1. Stock up on candles

Believed to be the number one way to get the hygge look, we're not surprised! The first thing that comes to mind when creating a cosy setting is setting the perfect lighting and candles are the best way to achieve this. Whether scented or unscented, embrace the warming glow of candlelight throughout your home. And their use shouldn't be confined to solely nighttime either. Danes purchase more candles than anywhere else in Europe, with one third admitting they light candles all day.

2. Create texture

When you think about creating a cosy atmosphere, notions of soft textures which add dimension instantly spring to mind. If you want to hygge your home, stock up on chunky knit cushions, faux fur throws and fluffy rugs, guaranteed to add lashings of texture. For extra comfort, choose the softest of materials, such as merino wool and cashmere for a touch of luxe.

3. Don't go overboard

You don't have to completely redesign your entire home to create a hygge atmosphere. It might just be creating a little nook you can call your own, or adding more of what you love. Remember, hygge is a feeling, so it isn't just focused on physical items. It could be enjoying a cup of your favourite coffee, or enjoying a long, candlelit bath. It's all about taking time to enjoy more of the things that you love.

4. Bring the outdoors inside

The autumn and winter months are typically cold, so going outside may not be your idea of comfort, but that doesn't mean you can't welcome the great outdoors into your home. From wooden furniture and flooring, to exposed walls and brickwork and neatly packed piles of logs, waiting to be thrown on that roaring fire, it's easier than you might think. Plus, you can easily incorporate nature into your home, with the addition of house plants, which are the perfect finishing touch.

5. Keep it simple

Hygge is never about going overboard. Yes, its focus is on indulging, but not extravagance. Hygge is not about going OTT in a bid to impress guests, but instead creating an atmosphere where everyone is comfortable and at ease. Learn to embrace the imperfections and simplicity and you're halfway there.

6. Take up a hobby at home

You've spent time creating an atmosphere you love, so make some time to enjoy it! Whether it's taking up a new hobby, or picking up an old missed one, turn off technology, and enjoy a simpler way of life. From delving into a good book, to picking up a craft, these activities will help you switch off and relax the mind and body.

If you'd like to introduce a little hygge into your home, why not give us a call and let us help you create your perfect setting? For more information, get in touch here  .

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