Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Repainting Oak Cabinets ~ A Fabulous Surprise!

Jerry and I inherited our antebellum style home from my parents/grandmother. The house was built in the late 1800's. We remodeled our home over 23 years ago and the time had finally come to update my tired old oak kitchen cabinets. As you well know this is a project most everyone procrastinates or decides not to undertake at all due to the major inconvenience and frustration. My project involved repainting a lot of oak cabinets, which a lot of people don't think can be done. I decided on two tone cabinets with a final coat of glaze to give them a slight worn effect. (I knew I had to have the worn look due to the grain of the oak.) I also added glass knobs in keeping with my home style. We also a ceramic tile counter top and back splash which included a mosaic tile banding, a new sink, faucet and pot filler. The total remodel took about six weeks.

My decision to renovate my existing cabinets instead of purchasing all new cabinetry was based on two facts. One was, of course, the cost and the other was the fact I like being as green as I can. The finished results were amazing as you can see.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Practice safety with window treatments

Since 1990 more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidental strangulation by window cords. Visit the WCSC website and get educated. Child proof your home. Many functional window treatments involve unsafe cords. Cords can be a chocking hazard.
Many people have blinds or shades installed near a crib or a child's bed. If these shades or blinds have dangling cords that are not tied down they can be extremely dangerous to a toddler or small child. We do not recommend that any shade or blind be installed in a toddler or child's room.

Here are some safety tips regarding cords and window treatments from the Window Coverings Safety Council.
  • Install only cordless window coverings in young children's bedrooms and play areas. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today's safer products.
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.

  • Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.

  • Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.

Hunter Douglas offers numerous alternatives to double or loop cords on window treatments. PowerRise is a motorized lifting system that is battery operated. LiteRise is a cordless lifting system in which a shade can be raised simply by lifting the bottomrail. Ultraglide is a lifting system which has only a single cord in which the shade is lifted by using a pumping action on the cord. Visit Hunter Douglas website to read more details regarding these innovative lifting systems.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Protect Window Treatments and Furnishings From the Sun's Harmful UV Rays

When a client is interested in window treatments one of the first things I recommend is that they consider tinting their windows to protect their new investment. Adding window tinting to a window can block up to 99.9% of the harmful UV rays from the sun. UV rays from the sun can fade and destroy fabrics fast.

These treacherous rays can ruin a beautiful hardwood floor, sofa table and grandfather clock. Ask me how I know, it actually happened to me. I thought my grandfather clock was safe because it was next to my patio doors which lead out to my pool. These patio doors face due north and never get even a glimpse of the sun. These doors allow a lot of light in and with natural light comes those UV rays which totally faded one side of my grandfather clock. Another lesson I learned is just because you have a porch doesn't mean you are safe from UV rays. My dining room has beautiful silk draperies installed. Several years after they were installed I decided to test the fabric for sun damage. I scraped my fingernail on the back of the lead edge side hem and to my horror I ripped the fabric. I was sick, I thought my porch would have somewhat protected my draperies from the sun. Now I have all the windows in my house tinted with Vista film (Soft Horizons (v-33 SR C). I also use Solar Insulations which is a local company in Nashville, TN. They have been in business for years and provided excellent service to all of my clients. I have never received one complaint regarding their service or the products they use.

When you visit Vista Flims website there is a link to a pdf document that states that a homeowner may be eligible for up to a $500 credit for window tinting installed during the 2009 calendar year.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Woven Wood Blinds - Warm Up a Room

Woven Wood blinds from Hunter Douglas can be a great solution to help reduce heat from the sun. They also add a unique natural style that no other hard treatment can add. They add a natural feel to any room since they are made with natural wood products. You can use these shades as a standalone treatment or add them under drapery panels to achieve a fabulous look. It's one of my favorites. I used these shades in my breakfast room to add beauty and deflect some of the heat in the hot summer months. There are hundreds of choices available in style and color for these natural beauties. They can be installed as an inside or outside mount.

Woven woods can be a perfect choice for a study or an office when a more tailored or masculine look is desired. A blackout or a privacy liner can be added when glare on a flat screen TV or a computer monitor is a problem. When woven woods are used without a liner the result is a soft filtered view. Since I have a fantastic view from my very large bay window the soft filtered view was the perfect choice for the breakfast room.