Magnetic Blind and Valance Headrail

Muslin for the blind, a jacquard for the valance. This decorative valance and functioning Roman Blind  are attached to the metal door with my latest goodie: magnetic headrails.  What makes this one different is that a valance or shade can be attached to it with velcro or staples. I’ve been thinking about this and trying different things for quite awhile. I’ve  got it now – the blind functions and the rod is secure.   And no holes in the metal door. If you would like more information or would like to order a rod, e-mail me at  

How do I decide if I should slipcover or re-upholster?

 Most of us became aware of slipcovers in the early 90’s when the  ‘Shabby Chic’ style of covering  became well known. They were loose fitting covers, skirts puddling on the floor, often using several different fabrics. Custom slipcovers  have changed and now  are usually very fitted. ‘Fit like a Glove’ – that is the school of construction I follow.   Slipcovers are everywhere. Spotlighted on Cityline recently and featured in Style at Home in a summer issue  they are experiencing  a huge resurgence. Slipcovering is a great way to add style and detail to furniture without spending a lot of money. Consider the following: Slipcovers are now less expensive than upholstery.  I learned a new way of doing covers last year and now, instead of several days to cover a piece, I can do it  in less than half the time and I don’t need to have the piece in READ MORE

How much does it cost to heat one window?

If your double paned window is 50” x 50” , and you heat with gas, an estimated $37.00 per year  of your heating bill is going out the window.  This ONE window only. How many windows do you have in your home?   With the right window coverings you could save almost half of this money. What happens to this $37.00 with different types of covering? Type                 Estimate of Dollars saved/year      % saved A venetian ( mini)  blind                        $1.12            3% An unlined curtain                                $.74             2% A top of the line cell shade                  $15.32             42% An interlined READ MORE

Saving Money on Draperies

 I often hear that custom made drapes are just too expensive. Here are three of my favorite stories illustrating that drapes can be done without taking out a second mortgage. One of the easiest ways to save money on drapes is to establish a good relationship with your decorator/sewer, make a plan that includes a budget, and be willing to wait just a bit.  I recently did a bedroom window with a blackout Roman Blind,  two floor- length side panels, and a beautiful Empire valance with matching trim.  The client wanted a specific type of floral print and the color scheme of mustard yellow-green and burgundy was somewhat unusual- but beautiful.  I showed her photographs of similar windows I had previously done and did a design of the treatment onto a photo of her window so she could see exactly what the finished look would be and, after we looked READ MORE

Valances on In-opening Doors

  Putting valances above doors is  a stickler.  Selecting window coverings  can be frustrating if the placement and type of window does not lend itself to the style of drapery we want.      I am often confronted with the necessity of  putting a valance on a door that opens in to the room. This is most often French doors  with windows on either side and the top of the French door is a different distance from the ceiling than the side windows.  Problem number one is that the doors open in, and therefore it is not possible to mount a valance above the door.  Problem number 2 is the difference in the height of the windows.      There is a new  hardware system available that addresses both issues.  The valance is fastened to hardware that mounts on the door and the valance moves as the door swings open.  READ MORE

Christmas Help.. really

With Christmas just around the corner – the shelf-stocking elves are hard at work at Canadian Tire already-  we often find that the projects we planned to finish this past summer are still on the ‘list’.  But with the economy or rather lack of it, being a huge part of our lives at the moment, we want to make sure our money is being spent wisely. With decorating, you want to remember to put your money where you can see it.  If you need new curtains in the kitchen or drapes in the living room this is the time to do them. Fabrics are on sale- both in the stores and through this decorator and if you act soon, you can still have the new look in time for Christmas.  So – spend a bit of money on fabric and use the following tips to get the rest of the READ MORE

drapes at the wrong height

How to Choose a Coffee Table

So – picture this living room: Two recliner love-seats, one recliner chair, one recliner sofa, a 40-inch T.V., corner fireplace, electric piano, full-sized organ, and three small end tables – all around the perimeter of the room.  The tiny coffee table in the middle of the room was an octagon about 20 inches in diameter and was about 3 feet from any seat. It looked rather peculiar- a little lonely island.  Function first  The client wanted a new coffee table for the middle. She assumed that it was necessary to have a  regular coffee table-  but the problem was that when the recliners were all in use (as they often were), the footrests just met in the center – almost touching the little octagon – like a big sunburst.  After agreeing that the most important function of the coffee table was to provide a place for someone to put down READ MORE

frustrated woman infront of window coverings styles

Choose a Window Covering

Unlike most interior decorating ‘rules’, that are really guidelines, the following guidelines should be regarded more like rules. ( Confused yet??.. It gets easier) Step by step…  1.Establish a budget. As with any home improvement plan, expect the budget to be challenged, but start with an amount you are comfortable with.   2.Make a list of what you want the window covering to do. ie: protection from sun, privacy, keeping heat out, keeping heat in.. etc. If you have pictures of window coverings you really like, dig them out.   3.Hire a professional decorator for a 1-hour consultation. THE SMALLER YOUR BUDGET, THE MORE YOU NEED A PRO. You don’t have money to do things twice. A good decorator will give you advice on all the options available that meet your needs, not just the ones they sell. 4.Confirm with the decorator that accurate renderings will be provided.   They should be able READ MORE

my headshot

Designer or Decorator?

I was asked the other day if I was licensed to practice as an Interior Decorator. My client was quite surprised when I told her there are no regulations in B.C.  concerning the use of the title Interior Designer or Decorator. This means anyone can tag the title onto their name and set up business.  Currently the Interior Design  Institute of BC is lobbying to have this changed but  for now here’s some information that may help you make an informed decision if you are looking for help.     What is the  difference between a Designer and a Decorator?  Quite a lot, actually.   The industry standard is: In terms of education, Designers have completed several years of Post secondary education, for example the DID (Diploma of Interior Design)  program of Mount Royal College in Calgary, or a 4 year university program.  The Designer can be responsible for any aspect of a READ MORE