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There’s nothing like long swathes of fabric to pack a punch to a room. It will add colour, texture and soften hard edges in the blink of an eye.

via Zepel Fabrics

And what better way to add fabric than with curtains.

Curtains not only look good but will also provide acoustic and insulation qualities.

But what header will you have on the curtains? There are so many choices today and getting the heading right will not only enhance the fabric but also the room.

The Triple Pinch Pleat is still the most popular heading. The fabric is gathered into three pleats and stitched together.

Triple Pinch Pleat Heading

The Inverted Pleat gives a neat finish with the fold of the fabric stitched down.

Inverted Pleat

Some of the newer more casual headings which dictate the rod or track include:

The Eyelet which has large metal or plastic eyelets inserted into the top of the curtain and the rod passes through. There should be a thin rubber strip on the top of the rod which makes the swishing of the curtains much smoother.

Eyelet Curtains

The Ripple or S Fold has a tape stitched onto the top of the curtain and then that tape is press fastened onto a tape which hangs underneath a rod. This curtain heading allows the fabric to fall in soft ripples and creates a very dreamy look. Great for sheer or thin fabrics but can also be used for fabrics with lining.

Ripple Fold Curtains

There are so many things to consider with curtains, not just fabric and heading. Lining is important as this will block the heat and cold as well as give privacy. Length of curtains need to be considered also. Some people like them just “kissing” the floor and some prefer them “puddling”. This is when the curtains are longer than the drop and are pooled on the floor a bit like a bridal train. They look great in formal rooms or older style homes, although not that great if you have cats, dogs or small children.

Puddling via Country Homes

The track or rod is also a consideration. These come in just about every conceivable colour. Rods are exposed and usually finished with a decorative finial at the end. Curtains can be attached to the rods with rings or some have a track hidden in the rod and the curtains appear to hang underneath. Tracks look great when the curtains are closed and you can’t see them but not so glamorous when the curtains are open.

Decorative Rods

However, there is a time and place for every style and making sure you choose the right style, track, heading, length can be just as important to the look of the room as the fabric itself.

One of my favourite resource books for curtains is 1001 Ideas For Windows. It not only covers curtains but also blinds, hardware and fabrics. I thoroughly recommend it if you are looking for ideas or inspiration for your home.

If you would like assistance getting the right look for your window coverings, contact us to arrange an appointment.

Luxscaping

As I mentioned earlier, I went to Designex last week and was fortunate to hear Jamie Durie speak on trends for outdoor living.

The Outdoor Room

Jamie’s concept of The Outdoor Room is alive and well here in Australia. With our mostly sunny days, the garden has become an extension of the home. Similarly we are looking to the interiors for inspiration. As Jamie said, we are “luxscaping”.

An Outdoor Room by Jamie Durie

Numerous other cultures have been living outdoors for many, many years. Places like Thailand, Indonesia and Japan provide wonderful education for our relatively young country. The wind and sun can make it uncomfortable to spend too much time outside but now we have products that meet our needs and provide solutions.

We have wallpaper made from steel which can enhance a wall or create a division. Vertical gardens are the fastest growing trend thanks to the foresight of Patrick Blanc.

via Eco Concepts

Jamie also suggests that our gardens should not only look good but should taste good too. More families are concerned about the quality of the food they put on the table so if it’s grown in your own backyard it can provide shelter, protection and beauty into the bargain. Pear trees make a wonderful screen. Clever plant placement and selection will see a useful as well as decorative garden.

via Eco Concepts

One thing Jamie is adamant about is garden lighting. It’s true, our hardwork should be admired day and night, so a few lights along the path or highlighting a fantastic tree will enable the garden to be enjoyed even from the comfort of the cosy living room.

via Gardens At Night

One of the products on display around The Outdoor Room at Designex was sandstone cladding. This sandstone is 30mm thick on a bendable backing so can be wrapped around columns and walls and gives the appearance of something much more solid.

via ME Lighting

So with the onset of winter, now is the time to plan and plant your outdoor room so it’s ready to enjoy once the warmer weather returns.

Jamie has written a number of books which are available from my Book Shop.

Furniture, Decoration and Kathryn Ireland

Today is the last day of the Australian International Furniture Fair being held at Darling Harbour in Sydney. I went along on Wednesday, the day it started.

It was very exciting to be in the audience of Kathryn Ireland’s seminar. She is such a down to earth woman. Kathryn showed us some images of homes she has decorated and designed in the States and her own home in France. Kathryn’s style is very eclectic and combines English Manor (she was born in the UK) and French Farmhouse (her holiday home) with bohemian style.

Kathryn Ireland

Her philosophy is that rooms should look lived in and should look thrown together when in fact they have been carefully planned. You can easily see that Kathryn enjoys travelling (who doesn’t) and her inspiration is drawn from many corners of the globe. Morrocan tiles, Indian bed and French 1940’s furniture all sit harmoniously in the same room.

Similarly Kathryn loves colour and her rooms are a kaliedoscope of colours. She admits that if she was to show her clients the swatches of all the colours she was going to put in their room, they would have her committed!

Dining Room by Kathryn Ireland

An extremely busy lady, Kathryn also has a furniture line, fabric range and wallpaper range. The wallpapers and fabrics can be sourced through Inside Out Colour and Design. Her book, “Creating A Home” is available at our Amazon Store as well as some other highly recommended books on Colour and Design.

Fabrics by Kathryn Ireland

The Fair itself was broken into two main parts. There was the Decoration and Design area that mainly concentrated on small furniture and decorator items and then there was the Furniture section where many furniture importers were showing their ranges to the large retailers.

Naturally, I concentrated my time on the Decoration and Design area. I was looking for a coffee table for one client and came across this beauty.I like a shelf or drawer on a coffee table that can hold magazines and remotes and leave the top free for, well, coffee.

Antique Oak Coffee Table

I was also looking for a feature light for another client and thought this might fit the bill.

Migo Pendant from Hermon and Hermon

The exhibitor that I had not come across before, which had some great items, was d-Bodhi which combines contemporary and classical designs in a sustainable and affordable way. This is my favourite from their current range. Maybe it’s the soft shape of the legs on the raw looking timber that appeals.

Lucy Dining Table

It is “Fair Season”! Later this month Sydney will host three Homewares and Gift Fairs all at the same time, which makes for a busy and exhausting week. Then in April, Designex will be held here in Sydney. It’s a great way to be inspired and keep up with what’s new on the market.

via Getty Images

I’m hoping for a quiet weekend and wishing you one too.

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