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If there’s one thing I heard more often than anything else when I worked in our stores it was “mine don’t look like that” - no sniggering please I’m obviously talking about ready made curtains. You see when you see ready made curtains on display in our stores they have been hung by our amazing display team who know all of the tricks of the trade to make them look fantastic. If you read on I can fill you in on the steps to take to make your ready made curtains look amazing.
I know this might seem like a lot of steps but none of them are complicated and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re admiring your perfectly hung curtains.
If unlike me you're not naturally a person who loves a good preen or have too much other stuff to do to be ironing curtains then inquire in store about our expert fitting service.
I assume I'm not the only one who wrestled with their Granny's roller blinds as a child. I swear that woman loved to ask me to pull the spring roller blind halfway up only to watch it fly up out of my hands and roll all the way up only to giggle at me wrestling it back down to the height she requested. Well let me tell you blinds have come a long way baby!
Not only the designs, fabrics and choices have gotten seriously cool over the years but the mechanisms have become darn right user friendly. The choices you'll be faced with are almost endless but we can divide them into a few basic categories while you're deciding which ones will suit you best.
Roller blinds are what would have been known as Holland blinds, they're the most basic type of blind, being a piece of stiffened fabric rolled around a roller which you then pull up and down by either a chain at the side (chain mechanism) or a pull in the centre (spring mechanism). There is an amazing range of choice of colours and prints available, which makes them a good choice when you want a splash of colour in a kitchen or the likes. There is also a really good range of blackout colour available which makes them an ideal choice for bedrooms. They also start at a very reasonable price so are a good budget friendly option. Then if you want to get fancy with it, not only can you pick a more expensive fabric but you can add cool finishes like metal bottom bars or pelmets to jazz them up.
Within the roller blind category we have the relatively new Silhouette blinds. These are basically a continuous length of fabric rolling around a mechanism top and bottom. The fabric is divided into equal panels of opaque and sheer fabric, allowing you to adjust the amount of light into the room, line all the opaque ones up and you let the least amount of light in, then get rolling to allow the light to diffuse into the room. They're generally more expensive than regular roller blinds but allow you a lot of control and diffuse the light beautifully into the room.
Vertical binds are made of stiffened strips of fabric that hang from a rail, almost like a curtain rail and can be pulled open across entirely or tilted to block some of the light without being closed fully. They are an extremely practical style of blind as they can be made to fit huge windows and even bay windows. So many of our customers have moved into homes with amazing floor to ceiling - wall to wall windows and then wondered how they're going to get anything to fit them. In this case vertical blinds are your best option, particularly if you're on a budget as they're quite reasonable.
Venetian blinds are blinds made of slats running across that can be either opened fully or tilted to diffuse light into the room. Venetians are a good choice for most rooms in the home; left down and tilted they are great for privacy so can be used as an alternative to the old net curtains. They are also a good choice for french doors as they can be supplied with hold down brackets for the bottom, meaning that you can tilt the blinds easily and open and close the doors without the blinds moving around too much. Most styles of venetian blinds will come in a few widths of slats 25mm (1"), 35mm (11/2") and 50mm (2"). It's good to note that the wider slats will let in more light, both when opened and closed. It's also important to realise that although they might be made of wood or the likes, the fact that they are slatted blinds means that they will not act as a blackout blind, even when closed. They are available in wood, aluminium and the new kid on the block faux wood. Let's talk a little about what each means:
Probably the most popular of all, they provide a very soft, natural look and generally have a nice colour range. They cannot be washed so it's important to keep them dusted regularly; break out the ole feather duster once a week.
These basically have all the benefits of the wood but being made of a composite material they can be fully submerged in water, allowing them to be properly cleaned. When they first came on the scene they were much more expensive that the regular wood venetians but have come down to a similar price range.
As the name suggests they are venetian blinds that are made from aluminium. This means that they come in a huge variety of colours and can be wiped with a damp cloth to keep them clean. The downside is that the aluminium is noisy when being pulled and they don't have the warmth of a wood blind but they work really well in a kitchen or bathroom where you want a statement splash of colour.
Roman blinds are probably the most elegant and even "curtain like" of all the blinds available. They are made from a lined piece of fabric, that velcro onto a track and pleat up into beautiful, simple folds. The best thing about roman blinds is that they are completely custom in the sense that you choose your fabric and your lining, they also give a nice finished look to your window. Let's be honest about it, in living rooms or bedrooms most people will use a roller blind or venetian blind and then put a curtain over it to dress and finish the window. This is not the case with roman blinds as they already have a very soft, finished look. They can also be hung inside or outside the window recess, making them very practical for awkward spaces, for example a bedroom window in which the wardrobes are too close to the window to accommodate a full curtain or a dormer window.
That covers the basic styles of blinds available. There are other styles of course like pleated or duette blinds, which you may just really love, though in my experience if you're looking at these styles it's because you have an awkward window, like in a conservatory or such. Our expert fitters can help in these situations and advise on what might be most suitable.
If you're feeling inspired, then get to your nearest Home Focus /Hickeys store to have a look at our extensive range of blinds. We do offer a full measuring service but in my experience if you have some basic measurements (recess size) on your first visit it really helps to narrow things down as not all blinds will suit all size windows. Each type of blind has their place in the home and hopefully this blog will have helped you decide which is most suitable for you.
Why would anyone buy custom made curtains you might wonder? What’s even the difference between having a pair of curtains made and buying a pair off the shelf? Why are they more expensive?
Having worked in a Hickeys shop for more years than I care to let on I am fully equipped to answer these questions! Or at least I hope I am. In my opinion there’s 3 real reasons why anyone would go to the bother of getting Custom Made Curtains:
1: The size issue – Sometimes you might just have an odd sized window and cannot buy standard readymade curtains in your size. This is probably the reason most people buy custom made in the first place as not only can you have curtains made to the exact dimensions you need but if you’re really struggling, you can book an appointment to have a fitter do the measurements for you!
Curtains can also be made to suit odd shaped windows not just outsized ones, making custom made the only real choice for apex, dormer or sash windows.
2: Quality _ Although readymades have improved drastically over the years there’s still nothing like the quality of Custom Made Curtains! The fabric! The finish! Readymades are mass produced in a factory. Your custom made curtains are made for YOU with care and attention by a single maker from start to finish. Basically once you go custom you’ll never go back.
3: Choice – And I do mean choice, custom really means custom. This is really where custom made comes into it’s own, choosing your curtain fabric is only the start, and that’s no easy choice when there’s so many gorgeous ones out there. You can even add some quirky cool trim like the one above, make your curtains as unique as you!
Staff instore will be happy to give you fabric samples so you can look at them in setting and really make sure you’re making the right decision
You will get to choose what your curtains will look like at the top, the heading you pick will also depend on what type of rail/pole you have
You can choose curtain linings for any number of reasons, both practical and impractical. Curtains can be very functional for blocking light or keeping the heat in, or maybe you just want them to look really plush. Here’s the options:
Your curtains will be machine sewn, custom made (a mix of machine and hand sewn) or entirely hand stitched. Which one of these options you go for will usually depend on the type of fabric and lining you choose. Though hand stitched will give the neatest finish, with there being little to no visible stitching on your curtains.
Hopefully that answers some questions you might have about going custom. I personally feel that custom is an antidote to the “fast fashion” we’re all subjected to these days. It’s about choosing something you love and will love for years to come because you know they’ll look as good in 10 years as they did the day you hung them.
If you’re interested in going custom or want to get an idea of cost get in touch with one of our expert staff in your nearest store.
2018. A New Year, with new goals, new plans and of course- new trends. Below we have our top 5 picks for Interior Design Trends of 2018, and we are so excited to talk about them! The great thing about these trends is you can really make them your own, inject your own personality and taste. 2018 sees the return of Floral, the opposite of Minimalism and a twist on 2017’s hottest trend- Hygge.
“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” – Pantone
Pantone has named “Ultra Violet” as the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018. This striking shade of purple can be beautifully incorporated into any home and countless colour schemes. Make a bold statement with a feature wall. Maybe you prefer a neutral palette? Add a little pop of vibrancy with a velour cushion.
(image credit - www.pantone.com)
With Maximalism- more is more. The need for bold extravagance as opposed to the stripped back Minimalist style that has been popular in recent years. Aim for clashing prints and jewel toned textures. Think Floral, Chintz and Brocade prints layered with Velour, Metallic and Glossy textures, creating a sumptuously decadent ambience in the home. Maximalism is great for those who love to upcycle, pairing period pieces with modern materials.
(image Credit - www.interiordesign.net - Palazzo Fendi VIP apartment in Rome by DIMORESTUDIO. Photography by Andrea Ferrari.)
Take a colour, and work it. Layering two or three shades of the same colour or palette creates a fantastic aesthetic in a home. Think Terracotta, layered with ochres and burnt sienna tones. Bottle green with teal and lime. Embrace textures- velour, knits, tile and metals. Inject patterns or prints to really add depth to your colour scheme.
(image credit - www.thedesignchaser.com)
A development of the well loved Hygge trend, Casual Comfort incorporates scandi and industrial textures with the warm and calm. This is less about colour injection and more about using your senses to recognise a comfortable environment. Pom Poms, Tassels, Velour, Faux Fur and Wool throws are all great additions to this style. If you like a pop of colour, why not add some Millennial Pink? Another hugely popular design trend for 2018! Play it up with berry reds and deep purples, or create a calmer ambience with cool greys and sage tones.
(image credit - www.lustliving.co.uk)
Floral is back, and it is fabulous. This style has been so beloved throughout the years and in 2018 it has a new zest for life. We are seeing it with big prints in jewel tones, and ditsy prints in pastels. Whether you go big with bloom covered bedding, or add a touch to your modern monochrome with a statement cushion, Floral is a trend you can embrace wholeheartedly.
(image credit - www.sfgirlbybay.com)
Adding botanical elements to your home is quickly becoming one of this year's biggest interior design trends. It's also one of the easiest trends to get involved with! Whether you're planning on going green entirely, or just want to add a few natural touches to your home, everyone can go botanical with their home decor this season.
If you're dying to go green too, but you're not sure how to get started, here are a few tips to start you on your way:
While flowers can be a beautiful addition to any home, a truly botanical look focuses on leafy greens, rather than vibrant flowers. This creates a calm, peaceful atmosphere in the home, as green is well renowned as being one of the most calming colours you can choose in home decor. So, when you're picking out the perfect botanical pieces for your home, be sure to opt for leafy and green over colourful and floral.
From large statement pieces, to small accents, any botanical element placed in the right space can help you seamlessly achieve the look you desire. Analyse the space you have to devote to this look, and work out what kind of pieces would best help you achieve a botanical theme.
If you have a lot of space, one large statement piece can be enough to give the room a botanical look. If the space you're in is small, try placing smaller plants off the ground to give them more prominence in the room, and choose plants that are small in size, but leafy and dense to maximize on their effect.
Once you have added the elements of natural foliage, you can enhance their effect by adding well placed, botanically themed soft furnishing around your home. From curtains, to cushions, throws and rugs, there are countless ways for you to enhance the botanical theme of your home.
You can match the shades of green you're using for a uniform look, or mix and match a few shades to create a more natural and diverse botanical effect. You can also opt for nature based designs - leaf designs are perfect.
Why not take a look at our botanical collection for some ideas?
Empty wall space is the perfect canvas for adding a botanical feature to your room. Whether it's wallpaper that makes a big statement, or some beautiful pieces of art that add a natural element to the room, adding wall art is a great way to complete your botanical masterpiece.
Identify the kind of space you have and how you want to use it - whether it's a wall segment you want to wallpaper, or an empty wall that would suit a botanically themed painting. Be careful in choosing your colours and patterns when it comes to wallpaper, so as not to make the room appear to be too dreary or dark.
Here are a few ideas, from wall paper to decals, from around the web that we just loved:
Wall paper, wall decals, and even just some well chosen botanical prints or paintings can go a long way in transforming your room into a botanical wonderland. Small touches are all that's required, so don't go over board - particularly with big statement pieces such as wallpaper!
Have you introduced a botanical theme to your home? If so, we would love to see how you did it! Get it touch with us and share your interior design creations via email or through our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The new year is nearly upon us, and as with every New Year's celebration , it comes with a whole new range of trends, predictions, and new looks to introduce into your home in 2017.
The year ahead is tipped to be filled with DIY projects, natural colours and textures, and a move away from technology. Get ready for a few months of auction trawling for unusual pieces, upcycling, and creating your own unique haven at home. A return to rustic features, combined with warm colours, is on the cards, as well as maintaining some principles of the 2016 craze Hygge, with escapism and meditation featuring heavily in design features for the year.
So what can we expect to see in the design world in 2017? Here are the features we're tipping to be big this year:
Pantone have named 'Greenery' as the colour of the year, suggesting a big focus on this vibrant shade to come in 2017. This fresh shade of green is sure to highlight the arrival of spring, and keep your home vibrant and lively throughout the year.
Accents of this shade are perfect for creating splashes of colour in a room, so keep an eye out for cushions, curtains and throws in that perfect shade of green!
Technology has made its way into every aspect of our lives, and now as we reach 2017, people are trying to move away and create spaces for meditation and relaxation. This means comfy nooks and crannies, designed for getting cosy with a cup of tea and a book.
This follows on from one of 2016's big trends, Hygge, celebrating everything warm, comfy, and cosy.
Rustic, warm, and inviting - Terracotta is set to be one of the biggest trends of 2017. Whether it's updating your flooring, or adding terracotta accents with flower pots, this warm reddish tone is set to feature heavily in home design throughout 2017.
Even soft furnishings can play into this trend. By adopting the warm tones of terracotta for your cushions, curtains or throws, you can make the most of this warm, subtle shade.
From farmhouses to distressed furniture, the rustic look is making a comeback. Whether it's cheap and cheerful pieces you picked up from a local auction or sale, or that old cabinet hidden away in the attic, if it's old and a little battered, it's the perfect piece for your home in 2017.
Exposed beams and brickwork are certain to become even more popular, as the 'old farmhouse' look re-emerges as one of the favoured interior design trends of the year. So for 2017, whatever you're decorating, make sure to add that rustic element!
As everyone looks towards creating a sustainable future, recycling is starting to make an impression on the world of interior design. By reclaiming old, unloved pieces, you could do more than just save yourself a fortune - you could also end up with some beautiful, unique pieces to place around your home.
Whether it's upcycling pieces you already own, or salvaging furniture, tiles, or wooden beams to make your own pieces, this is the year to get creative, cut costs, and think sustainability.
Have you made any interior design predictions for the coming year? Or will you be renovating your home in line with one of these fantastic trends? Let us know in the comments!