New! Creative Ideas on Choosing your Window Covering Style

Window coverings have a process on how you should choose your window curtains and drapes. You have three basic choices to decide from on what window treatment is best for your homes decor. You first have to decide whether you want informal or formal window coverings? Secondly unlined or lined? And thirdly the style and type of heading desired. After you have decided on the type of window treatment you are looking for you can start to finalize the design. Window coverings are influenced by several elements, which include the function of the space, the style of the architecture of the home, and the window treatment preferences of the homeowner. The resulting factor is the same window design can be treated very differently depending on the person’s taste. Imagine a dining room that has a bay window. This type of window style is usually a multi layered floor length window treatment – basically it’s a formal window covering. If your taste is a more casual laid-back style you may introduce an informal appearance of café curtains with some sill length and some tied back side panels.

What is a full formal window treatment?

A formal window covering usually will have two or three layers. The first layer may be the casement curtain and will be installed within your Windows trim area. Usually you would use a sheer, solid or maybe a lace panel that will lay straight or either gathered at the top. Over draperies usually called just draperies will be your second layer. Generally they will cover the trim and window and if there is room left stretched further to each side or even the area that is above your window. Optionally the third layer of your full formal window treatment will be a valance this is also known as pelnet that horizontally runs across the top of your window and will cover the curtain or drapery heading. Another piece of the formal window treatment is a hard valance, also known as a lanbre-quin or a cornice. It is normally made with wood, which is then covered with upholstery or some fabric. To some people by not using the third treatment it will appear like the window covering is unfinished but in all sense this depends on the taste and style that you are trying to obtain. By using heavy but curious fabrics which would include brocades, Tapestries, silks, Damasks and velvet you will enhance the prestige of the formal treatment. The downside of these fabrics is that they will require cleaning from professionals every couple of years.

What is an Informal window treatment?

An informal window treatment can consist of one or two basic layers or you may decide on having nothing at all. If you have a great window location with privacy a beautiful window can look great even without a dressing especially if you have a great view. Sometimes just some basic casement curtains look great for a casual room. If you need to cover only the lower half of the window a Café curtain can offer you privacy and not block the light. Fabrics that are used for the informal look consist of chitz, ticking, linen, muslin and gingham. A benefit to the informal window coverings over the formal window coverings is that most of these are washable and easy to take care of.

Window drapes and curtain linings

Depending whether you have a formal or informal curtain or drape covering it will often decide if your window treatment will be lined. Factors will include the amount of natural light you want in your room and the length of time you expect the arrangement will last. Unlined curtains diffuse daylight but won’t exclude it. Being the simplest form for your window covering it is still very effective by itself as a window under treatment. The unlined treatment doesn’t have the extra thickness of a lining and will stack lightly back. A good choice is to use a fabric that looks attractive from both sides so there will not be a right or wrong side for the inside or outside of your window covering. Classic choices for unlined treatments would consist of lace, mobile, Muslim and sheers that are made out of cotton or silk organza. You may even have textured fabrics that have open weaves; an unlined curtain will filter the light beautifully and give you some privacy in the evening when the lamp is on. Try consolidating sheers with window blinds and shades. Unlined curtain drawbacks are the damage from the sunlight on the window treatment because there is no lining for your window fabric for protection it will deteriorate rapidly.

Lined curtains and drapes

Lined curtains and drapes have more body, which will give you softer and deeper folds and improve the window treatment appearance. The lining will block sunlight and protect the window fabric from fading. A lining also preserves the color and increases your privacy and will reduce noise from outside. Look for linings that are treated to resist sun damage and rot, once the lining becomes deteriorated you can just realign it or just hang the window covering without the lining on. The rule of thumb is that if you line one curtain in the room do all the rest the same so they will match, Usually the lining fabric will be off-white or white although you can get colored linings you should know that this will affect the hue of the window covering when light passes through it especially in a lightweight curtain fabric get samples and test them together for a color change.

Truck Tonneau Covers – 7 Tips to Pick One

Looking at truck tonneau covers online is a great way to gather the facts in a hurry. What’s more it may quickly become clear that only a few models will get the job done for the way you use a truck. Here are 7 tips for picking a tonneau cover for a truck.

1. How much tonneau cover depends partly on what you want to spend. For tight budgets the soft covers offer much for the money. The soft covers still offer basic weather protection while increasing security for cargo. That’s because just hiding the load under cover and away from prying eyes is the first step to security. And with soft covers, a little bit of money gets a cover. Stepping up to more features is easy and then the choice of tonneau options is just limited by how much you wan to spend.

2. The fiberglass bed cover may not always be a tilting lid. Once you move up to looking at hard covers rather than soft ones, the options really increase. The classic choice for hard tonneaus might be the tilt lid such as is offered by Gaylord. A similar cover that looks like it might be fiberglass but isn’t is the Undercover tonneau. This cover substitutes plastics for fiberglass and in the process builds an impact resistant cover that weighs only 58 pounds in the full size version. But the tilting covers have issues and that’s one reason for other hard cover models.

3. Soft covers come in more than just the roll up option. Actually the soft versions include tilt up covers as well as tri-folds in addition to the more common roll ups. One thing to look at if you decide on a roll up cover is the sealing method. All kinds of designs are used to keep the weather out and some seem to work better than others. Look on down for one way to evaluate which is best.

4. Tri fold hard covers as a compromise offer several advantages. Tilting covers in either fiberglass or plastic limit the cargo height to no higher than the sides of the pickup box, that is if you want the lid to close over the load. Enter the tri fold hard cover. These covers fold forward and that means you get full bed access but you can easily leave the cover folded open and carry whatever you wan to carry. It’s a way to get the advantages of a hard tonneau without the limitation of height of cover which you get with tilting lids.

5. Retractable tonneau covers for easy access and an aluminum top. If budget permits, another great option comes as the retractable. That gets you an aluminum tonneau cover that just simply slides forward to store in a canister out of the way. Storing cargo under metal offers top protection as well as low profile good looks. Often the cover fits flush with or below the bed sides almost out of sight.

6. Is remote control something you want? That’s another possibility with sliding retractable covers. With an electric tonneau the cover slides to or fro at the push of a button almost as if you had a giant trunk with remote control. That’s a real plus in certain weather and for just easy use.

7. Reviews are for reading. Shopping online means more than just easy comparison of features and facts. Consult suppliers of tonneaus like AutoAnything and you can read many reviews of bed cover models and see what owners think, good and bad. Especially enlightening are the comments about installation. It often is more than you think.

Picking truck tonneau covers means wading through the many choices to find what may work best for you. Shopping online often means saving money and certainly means the best of choices. Online shopping often means you can get lots of reviews to see what real owners think which is often quite revealing to get past the marketing hype.

Designing Outdoor Living Spaces: Advice From An Experienced Interior Designer

As an interior designer in Sarasota, Florida, I am often asked to design living spaces that embrace the outdoors. For much of the year, the climate in Sarasota has balmy breezes and minimal bug-life, and you can spend a great deal of time either in the sun or under cover. Either way there are many ways to enjoy comfort and luxury while enjoying nature’s gifts.

One of the ways we like to use the outdoors is an architectural feature often called a “loggia”. This is often a terrace with a roof, sometimes part of the structure of a house, sometimes a free-standing pavilion. We often furnish them with handsome teak-framed furniture (from sustainable forests, of course). We love they way this develops a beautiful silvery patina in just a few years. We use loose, thick and luxe cushions on them, covering them with the new indoor/outdoor fabrics. These are made of polyesters which are now being made to look and feel much more like cotton yet hold up against rain and are resistant to mildew. They dry quickly too. They can come in bright weaves and marvelous prints that can be bold and tropical or quiet tones for subtle and quiet rooms.

For many of these spaces, we use them as outdoor living rooms, which they are. When we are using stone floors in an interior, we like to use the same material to carry to the outside, uniting the indoors and the outdoors. This gives a great feel of expansiveness and connection. These floors are stone or tile with a honed or tumbled finish that gives them a more rustic and casual surface. They are cool and easy to walk on in the shade, a lovely relief from the heat in the summer on bare feet!

Walls are as non-existent as possible. The whole point is to welcome the view of the sun, the sea and the sky. We recently completed a home facing the Gulf with one wall being the wall of the home, with expansive openings onto the Loggia and the water beyond. Three sides of the loggia can be closed and secured with a coiling closure that provides protection from storms and security when the owners are not in residence. The closures retract discretely into the ceiling when the house is open. When the closures are up, there is no barrier between the indoors except the furnishings on the loggia – an extension of the living space. One moves effortlessly from the indoors to the outdoors. Outdoor curtains can be another way of “dressing up” a terrace. The draperies can be closed at the most intense moments of the afternoon sun and then opened when the light modulates and welcomes us back. Casual tie-backs can hold the curtains at the corners of the space then, to keep the view clear and expansive.

As much as possible we make these spaces outdoor rooms. Where there are wall surfaces we often hang mirrors, to reflect the view and bring more light to the interior and as a handsome decorative treatment for the walls. We add other furnishings too, like lamps – with heavy ceramic bases, and positioned close to walls so that they are safe from wind and rain. Hurricane lamps on tables adding the soft glow of candlelight at dusk is a wonderful feature as well. If we need to add other decorative lighting we often use surface-mounted fixtures to the ceiling or bold and weather-resistant sconces to the walls. Hanging fixtures can be problematic unless they can be secured against high winds. Ceiling fans however are often designed with short or rigid stems so that they can be used to help stir a breeze and be a decorative element as well.

In addition to loggias, terraces and decks can extend the living space. Terraces off of bedrooms are lovely areas in the early morning and the evening for moments of quiet contemplation and to recover and rejuvenate in a private outdoor space. Once again, comfortable indoor/outdoor furnishings make them feel more like living rooms than just a deck with a hard chair. Amenities can often include a wet bar, an outdoor shower, and a fireplace or firepit. All of these things help extend the time we can spend under the sky or the stars.