Thursday, April 24, 2014

Simple window treatments for basement windows

Basement windows are often a  challenge to decorate because they are usually small,  spaced, and high on the wall - a recipe for  decorating disaster.   This post provides solutions for these problem windows based on the premise that  simple is best.  Keeping things light and airy will not draw attention to the negatives of  small size and awkward placement.  All links  to these spaces can be found on my Pinterest board .

shutters window treatments basement windows valance
Shutters and  valances  work when windows are a little larger


This space would work equally well without the valances if you like a less layered look. Keeping everything light also detracts from the high placement as you can see in this space and the one below.


blinds basement windows coverings
White blinds on a white wall
One of my favourite looks for a basement space is to keep everything light and add  darks in art or accessories. White faux wood blinds are very functional because they let light in and provide some privacy in the daytime.  In this room the floor acts as a great foil for all the lightness and the hits of dark in art and furniture break up the space.


shutters basement window treatments simple
Simple  light shutters add light and privacy 

Nothing works better than functional shutters in a basement. They are sleek and unobtrusive and look tidy.  

etched glass simple basement window treatments
Etched glass or window film

What about  adding something directly to the glass?  Etching  glass is so simple these days with beautiful stencils and spray etching available. You can also buy so many window films that provide a degree of privacy without too much fuss. If you aren't sure if you would like the look of etching try window film first because it is removable. 



stained glass basement windows solutions
Stained glass provides interest and  privacy. 

basement window solution light  drapes
Light walls and light draperies

Sometimes draperies work with short windows. I personally prefer that they are a similar colour to the wall, but there is a place for darker ones.  Because the sofa is below these windows it helps to break up the long expanse of wall below each window.

window coverings drapes basement


Sometimes you can add something vertical below the space to visually fill in the awkward space.


In my next post I will discuss more complex  basement window options that are sure to wow and  convince visitors that they are not in a basement. And what about your house?  What is your preferred window treatment for basements? 

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Simple spring wreaths

 Welcome spring!   It is warm today in St. John's and I finally feel like we are moving on from winter. My friend in England is mourning the disappearance of the daffodil while we are awaiting its arrival. With all the sunshine pouring in,  I knew it was time to add a little spring to the front entry.  It will be a long time yet before we see the forsythia and tulips.  If you read this blog you already know I am not a big seasonal decorator and recycling and dollar store finds are my go tos.

green and purple simple spring wreath Margaret Ryall
Designing Home  simple spring wreath
This wreath has served me for three years and moved from a  natural colour, to silver, and then on to purple, but today thanks to two different  spray paints  it is green. Yes, I'm still painting things. Spring greens are so hopeful.  The dollar store provided five bunches of spring flowers that I tore apart and reworked . I was so happy to feel the warm breeze I even added  a ribbon and I never add ribbons to wreaths!

Here four more favourites I've seen lately on Pinterest. 

 
Love this one, because I love circle shapes and eggs are such a part of spring celebrations.


Parker Kennedy Living tulip wreath
Ah, tulips!  How can you go wrong when you use tulips and mass them into an inviting circle?

daisy pail eggs wreath

This would be called a sway I suppose.  The gerbers are so bright and bold and the pail anchors the design.


Go on!  Find a container  you could hang on a door and fill it with flowers and viola.  How easy is that?





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Friday, April 4, 2014

Paint solves many problems


You know how it goes with decorating.  You get one thing to a point where you love it and that improvement only makes other things in the space look dismal.  And that is the point where we left off in the last post-  loving the chairs and not liking what is happening on top of the buffet.  

painting upholstery dining chairs  buffet vignette
Almost but not quite

One problem area

Let's start with the lamp.  I've always loved this lamp and when  I recently moved it from the living room it needed a new home. I perched it on several books as a way to increase the height and  connect the dark chair colour to the buffet.

  I left it for several days, but I knew what would happen.  Every time I passed by I had the same thought
 ( that shade is way too white).  Problem arising... what were the chances I would find this type of lamp shade in St. John's?  NIL  What was left?  Paint it or cover it with fabric or paper.  I chose paint knowing if I totally messed  it up I could use fabric or paper to cover it. 

What colour? 

 The lamp had to relate to the drapes without overmatching, I trotted to my studio to see what I had there and chose  BM floral white OC29 left over from painting  frames for an dart show.


Benjamin Moore Floral White OC 29 
This  is a dirty white with the faintest hint of warmth without looking too yellow. Perfect in my book. Some bloggers recommend it as a good white for cabinets if you have white appliances.

How to?

 I watered down the paint by half  and brushed it on with a 2 inch art brush -synthetic soft hair for acrylic paint.  It's a  messy business so have something to catch the drips. If you are careful you only need one coat.   It worked like a charm with no buckling or patchy areas.  You definitely have to water down  the paint or it will look too solid and not be absorbed into the fabric. 

  Some references I consulted said to use a fabric medium with the paint but I didn't.  From my art experience I think you could add acrylic matte medium to replace the fabric medium if you so desired. 

Problem two

Once I used  red as an accent on the buffet and in my living room, my beautiful landscape by Carolyne Honey Harrison started to remind me of a Christmas tree.  The green frame (which hubby made for it) had to be changed. I have a terrible aversion  to "seasonal" colour connections.

What colour?

 First I  painted the frame BM Black panther, a soft black I use for art frames, but it was too harsh for this particular  artwork and space.  All you could see was the frame.  I prefer the art to show and the frame to support it.


Benjamin Moore Black Panther 2125-10


Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain  2134-30


Next try was  BM Iron Mountain left over from painting my Media unit (see here). Worked like a charm.  It brought more dark to that side of the room and played off the chair colour without matching perfectly.   My daughter joked that everything in my house would soon be some form of charcoal.  Possibly!

The reveal 


painting upholstery dining chairs  buffet vignette
Almost but not quite

painted chairs  painted lampshade painted frame
Subtle changes make a difference 

And you might think this room is now complete.   I wish!  More problems and solutions to come.
Is paint a solution in your home decor?  I'd love to hear what you've done with it.  

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