I’ve just treated myself to inspirational day out with a lovely group of soft furnishers at a Curtain Masterclass. The Masterclass was led by industry expert Rebecca Day of Merrick & Day who generously shared with us her huge knowledge, experience & tips for designing window treatments.  Rebecca brought some of her gorgeous samples with her which demonstrate just how beautifully a contrast binding, leading edge or trim can enhance a contemporary or traditional curtain. Rebecca’s own style has changed over the years & she now favours a more relaxed style of curtain & heading which I agree is very pretty.  I’m looking forward to using some of these enhancements on future projects. Thank you so much to our host Penny & her staff at Denton Drapes couture soft furnishings. My only complaint is that the day was over all too quickly! 

PicMonkey DD Learn

(Photos of Rebecca Day’s samples taken by me)

Case study: Country house style

IMG_8009My client, who loves the Laura Ashley, country house look wanted to up date her sitting room but maintain a traditional feel.    As the room is south facing & has large patio doors out to the garden the furnishings are liable to fade in the strong sunlight; my client chose these textured vertical blinds from my made to measure selection to protect the furnishings & maintain a cooler temperature on sunny days.  The room was newly wallpapered in elegant Colefax & Fowler Elwick Stripe.

The client had a heavily shaped pelmet which we took apart & re-made into a straight more contemporary shape. The edge was highlighted with a two tone berry shade braid which also picks up on the colour of the stunning new sofa.  The same braid was used to embellish cushions.

PicMonkey SC LA Gosford 1

Although it was a long wait for the tie backs to arrive from the French, high end trimmings company, Houles, my client was truly delighted with her choice. These tie backs are made up of loops which are available individually in a choice of colours to create your own original tie backs in any length.

Rest your weary feet

PicMonkey velvet footstoolMy DH has taught me how to make an upholstered footstool…somewhere to rest my weary feet…I wanted one that would be large enough to share, just the right height & which could also be used as a tea tray table.  I chose a soft antique gold jacquard fabric which picks up beautifully on the shading in the fireplace & is super soft under foot. This fabric has an almost crushed velvet appearance & changes shade depending on the lighting in the room.  I used modern upholstery techniques & for definition a contemporary ‘Jazz’ flanged cord in brown/linen tones which compliments the fabric perfectly.  I’m off to put my feet up now…

How to clean your lampshades

How to clean your lampshades
Pic mrs steed lampshades

Fabric lampshades can pose cleaning challenges depending on their shape & construction but there are tried & tested ways to clean most…

Drum shades can be cleaned using a lint roller or a microfiber cloth.  The lining can be easily vacuumed & wiped with a cloth if necessary.

Fabric lampshades can be carefully vacuumed using the upholstery brush attachment or by covering the crevice tool with tights (to prevent threads being pulled loose).   Alternatively a hairdryer on cool setting can be used.   For fragile lampshades an artists brush can be used; starting at the top, working your way down the shade in long sweeping motions to remove any dust.

For silk shades a ‘Dry magic’ lampshade cleaning sponge can be used. These are reusable & easily found on-line.