Category Archives: Drapery & Custom Curtains

How do I properly insulate a Brooklyn Brownstone against draft ?


Image courtesy of  upholsterysupplier.co.uk

Winter of 2014 will definitely remembered. So many snow showers, shoveling twice a week, -50 degrees, now that is extremely cold.

Living in Brooklyn in a Brownstone you have another issue, draft. There is not a single Brownstone owner who can say their house is perfectly insulated. Even if you gutted it  there is allays a crack where a little bit of draft is coming in. (like under the doors)

When temperatures are in the 30’s the heating systems is just working a bit harder but when temperature drops to the teens cold just creeps in.

Naturally most of the draft comes through windows and doors and there are many ways to deal with it.

You can start with caulking but when the holes are over 1/4″ its gets messy.

You can put plastic over the window but then you cannot open the window all winter long.

what you really need is to replace the window itself. Well… now you have a real project! you have to research what types of windows are best for your house, find an installer not to mention the mess of construction and the cost. If you have a 20 foot wide house those windows are quite big.

A middle ground between all those options would be to use Window Treatments.

Keeping your house warm is all about having some air caged in, between the window and  the shade. Just like waring a sweater. The air acts as an insulator keeping cold out and warm in. (It actually works the same way in the summer too)

The trick with draft is not to let the cold air pass through, so whichever Window Treatment you choose must be air tight around the edges.

Surprisingly enough even a simple roller shade can help. Though it works much better with a double layer. You can use a combination of sun shade and blackout shade. Those can work well to control the light and the air enclosed between them will insulate the room.

A step up from Rollers are honeycomb shades also called cellular shades. They have enclosed air built into  the shade itself. And they come with one, two or even three cells. They work better than Roller shades because the gaps on the sides can be very tight up to 1/8″ (as oppose to 1/4 – 1/2″ with roller shades)

The best way to solve draft issue is to use thick insulating curtains. They are made of three layers lining, interlining and decorative fabric. The lining acts as a protection for the fabric from harsh sun and can be use to darken the room. (blackout lining vs translucent lining).

Using interlining is the key here. Interlining is typically made of thick cotton. It is sewn in between the lining and the front fabric. Since it is a thick material it helps lock the air inside the curtain.

Custom Curtains would be superior to most other window treatments in solving draft issues since there are made of flexible fabric that can compensate if the window,floor or ceiling is a bit crooked. You can always make the curtain to overlap the wall (a good idea also when you wish to have a clear window and let the curtain gather on the wall) to block draft around the windows.

What is also nice about curtains is that you can use them in the summer too to cut the heat. If you are tiered of the fabric you choose, you can replace the front fabric reusing the lining and interlining. People may also choose to remove the curtains in the summer clean and store them for the next winter.

There are two drawbacks to having curtains made.

One is cleaning them. Most often fabrics are dry clean only. You can take them down yourself or have a professional company come to take them down and re hang them. To keep the curtains in good shape this should be done once a year.

And the second is that you have to like them.

I really hope this winter ends soon and that we would have a winter like this once in a blue moon and not every year.

Hem Style and Size – Does It Matter

 Hem Size Courtesy of horizonyc.comSheer Curtains with Hem –  Courtesy of horizonyc.com

 

Regardless of if you are creating your own drapes or you are turning to an expert in the field, one thing is for certain. The hem is a key point of contention.

  • Should you have one?
  • How large should it be?
  • Does it matter if it is a different color or material?

The answers to these questions depend a great deal on the individual style and design of the drapery but also on the design of the room. Depending on the look you are trying to obtain, the hem can be a fantastic tool for customizing the look just the way you want it.

 

What’s Normal

 image courtesy of horizonyc.comStandard 4″ Hem –  Courtesy of horizonyc.com

The normal hem length on a standard curtain is about four inches. However, some have a hem as large as 12 inches. Some have no hem at all. Of course, it is up to you to determine which size is appropriate for your specific needs. Keep in mind you can use hems as a type of design element or just a functional component of the curtains.

 

Why Do You Need One at All?

A hem’s purpose is quite simple. By folding up the fabric and creating that small or large section in which the fabric is doubled, you create more durability and clean up the bottom line. Since the bottom of the curtain comes close to the floor, this doubled material provides some added protection against fraying. It also creates a clean line. For example, with sheer drapes, the hem helps to hide the raw edges so they do not show up in the light.

 

What About the Size?

 

2 Inch Hem curtasey of horizonyc.com2″ Hem –  Courtesy of horizonyc.com

What factors should you consider when it comes to the actual size? Consider the following.

  •  A small, thin hem can help to reduce the appearance of it on the curtains. For a clean line, this can be helpful.
  • If you are reusing old curtains to create something new, combining the material at the hemline can be fantastic. Instead of a small hem, choose a larger one to create more visual impact. This is a good way to extend the curtains you bought that were too short, too.

12-inch-hem-horizonyc-com12″ Hem – Courtesy of horizonyc.com

Hems are a part of the design process of curtains and other forms of drapery. The good news is they can be a major part of the design or not any part of it at all

Colored Hem – Courtesy of the sweatshopoflove.com

Patriotic Themed Decor for Labor Day?

If you are hosting an event this Labor Day, it’s time to pull out the stars and stripes and get to planning a fantastic event. The décor itself needs to sing the tune of the celebration. Labor Day is a day meant to thank those who work hard the rest of the year. This year, make it special by actually decorating the space in a patriotic, fun-loving theme.

Outdoor Options

Sometimes, the outdoors is where the party is happening because of the common BBQ theme. However, you can make this special with a few decorative pieces.

  • Select a fabric in the red, white, and blue tone for your tablecloths.
  • Invest in a flag-themed drape hanging from the doorway that people will enter and exit. This will keep the insects out while offering a stylish piece of décor.
  • Layer the colors instead of just focusing on items that are striped. For example, your plates may be white while your tablecloth is blue and the napkins red.

 

duralee-21014-442Duralee pattern 21014-442

 

duralee-42330-73Duralee pattern 42330-73

 

What About Indoors?

For the indoor celebration, take down those curtains and put up something that is more patriotic themed, perhaps some soft pastel colors of blue and red. Let a white sheer drape hang in the center. Be sure to have plenty of small things that make a big difference:

 

labor-day-color-scheme-roman-shades

  • Sand pails in red filled with some sand and a blue candle can make a nice centerpiece.
  • Add a few flowers in the right colors to each table setting.
  • Set up the space with a white theme then add pops of blue and red in the décor.

 


It is easy to get patriotic and fun with this theme. To make it count, though, you will need to think about the total layout and design. Do not just focus on the area where you will be eating. Rather, add a new shower curtain in an appropriate themed design or throw a blanket or a piece of cloth with the color scheme onto the couch for flare and even more style.

Have fun with this theme. Labor Day is a time to celebrate a day off work. Put a bit of time into this design and it will pay off.

Creating Study Space for Homework

As the school year fast approaches, it is important for parents to step back and think about the success of their children. One way to encourage good grades and getting homework done is to create an appropriate space for homework. A study space or homework nook does not have to be large, but it should be inviting enough to encourage kids to sit down and relax while studying.

How to Create the Ideal Space

What goes into a homework study space? First, focus on the desk. It should provide ample room for more than one book. It should be clean and clear of anything that will distract the child such as toys or pictures. This is not the place for a laptop either. Place that in a central area in the home so that parents can monitor what the child is doing in the space.

Image Courtesy of www.horizonny.com

The following tips can help you to create the ideal space for your kids. Remember, the entire space should encourage great studying habits.

Image Courtesy of www.horizonny.com
  • Make it theirs and only theirs. In other words, make this space just for your child to just do homework. Allow them to have some say in the organization of it, too. If you cannot devote a lot of space to it, use some drapery to create a hidden area of their room. With a running track along the corner of the room, this can ensure there’s plenty of privacy present.
  • Relax the feel of it by ensuring it is comfortable. Make sure the seat to their chair is comfortable and the desk is at the right height.
  • Encourage light. One way to do this is to use natural light coming in the room through the windows. Natural light is easier on the eyes while reading from a textbook. To do this, use blinds or shear drapes that encourage light to pass through them rather than darkening shades. Open up those drapes to let more light in.
Image Courtesy of www.horizonny.com

To make this space enjoyable, be sure to encourage your children to set it up and to maintain it. Keep it clean and organized. If it is the only place homework is done, there’s no risk that papers will go missing or books will be forgotten either.

 

Valentine’s Day and Window Treatments – Tips for Creating a Romantic Bedroom

Valentines Day 14th February

With Valentine’s Day on its way, you may be looking for a few fun ways to add a bit of romance and elegance to your bedroom. Many people are not planning to spend a lot of money going out for this day but that does not mean you cannot make it a special evening. Why not consider doing a few special things in the bedroom.

Make The Night Memorable

You may be thinking about a new set of sheets and adding a few candles to the room. This is just the start. You need to look at paint, ambiance and overall feel for the whole evening.


  • Start with a pair of wispy sheer curtains. With a soft color, they will flutter in the breeze, creating a beautiful environment perfect for quiet attention. Do a fabric search at Duralee.com to find the perfect choice for your room. You can also do this at LeeJofa.com.You can add electric blinds to the mix.  Check out the electric blinds at Somfy Systems.

  • You should look at how you have the room laid out as well. Consider rearranging the room so that it feels more inviting and warm. Look at where you have lamps and candles placed to create a better feeling of love.
  • Look at the overall color scheme. Use warmer colors and smoother tones. Do not try to put too much into the room, but keep it simple and smooth along the edges. This will create a better flow and a more calming demeanor. Light, soft colors like pastels and pinks.

  • Look at the type of music you will have playing in the bedroom as well as the lighting that will be cast to set the mood. Whether it is natural light through the windows or if you will be using candles, consider the type of feeling it will create.
  • If you are planning to watch a romantic film wile in your room, make sure you can watch it from your bed and that the position of the TV does not interfere with the rest of the room. This will help to enhance the mood.

Once you have tied all of the aspects of the room together and you look at getting there following dinner you will have a better understanding of how it will all work and you can tie it all together.

Bold and Bright and Brave

What is it about decorating with color that sends home owners into a panic? Bold color decisions can be difficult, but remember, it’s not permanent! Using color at home can be intimidating but there are a few things to consider when using color in interior decorating projects. We asked a couple professionals in architecture, construction and design their opinion on color, and why it can be so scary to some.

 

Source: Vandamn Interiors

Some believe the intimidation behind color is for personal reasons. Jeffrey Driver, who is a designer and marketer from the UK, says that bold colors can be too dominating if not used correctly. Some may fear being stuck with a bright color they’re unhappy with, or having to repaint. Most are too busy to have to repaint and hiring a professional once is costly enough.

In addition to cost, Driver brings up another great point about seasonal effects on decorating.

“When do people usually redecorate? In my experience it seems to be spring or summer,” Driver explains. “I can imagine that the time of year plays a huge part in this. Depending where you live, at that time of year you want cool, fresh colors. You’re not thinking about warm colors for the winter months.”

Bright colors in the home can be overwhelming when you want to relax. Tom Kearney, President of Chicago-based residential construction company Building Dreams, believes it is not only the physical process of painting, but also selecting color that can be equally intimidating.

Solar shades and striped curtain panels

 

Kearney says a good compromise could be to paint just one wall of a room an accent color. This way it is a small commitment but also a small job. All the furniture doesn’t have to be moved out.

“Mistakes or misuse of colors are easily adjusted on this smaller scale,” Kearney says. “Most people will be so ‘wowed’ at their results, that they’ll continue with other colors in other rooms.”

Another great option is taking advantage of less permanent decorative accents in your home. Using bold curtains or roller shades with a pattern can feel a lot less of a commitment than paint. You could also switch up throw pillows or accessories for a splash of color.

 

Custom silk curtains in peach color

Pablo Maida, AIA is an architect in Los Angeles but he also does interiors on all of his projects. Maida believes that while color is one of the most difficult things to do well, trying to pick a nice white is equally challenging.

“There are hundreds of them,” Maida says.

Maida says strong color can really make a space sing, if done well.

“Every time I have suggested a bold move, either a color or a vibrant wall covering or both, it has been a challenge getting the client to trust me,” explains Maida. “In the end they usually are blown away, as are all their guests.”

Do you use color in your home?

Feature Friday: Corner Shop Cafe

Walk into Corner Shop Cafe, and you’re immediately welcomed into a warm and casual environment before the staff greets you with a friendly hello. The cafe is literally at the corner of Broadway and Bleeker in NoHo, and attracts a lot of NYU and shopper-traffic. The employees are hospitable and the selection of  food is great (lunch, dinner, weekend brunch), but the building itself  is also worth mentioning.

Corner Shop Cafe, NoHo, NYU, 643 Broadway, Broadway and Bleeker, New York City, Pinch Pleat, Curtains, Design, Building Decor
Corner Shop Cafe at 643 Broadway

The high ceilings are topped with pressed-tin and a brick wall is exposed, filling the room with a warm, antiquated feeling.  Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and intricate sconces branch out from the gray walls.  The hardwood floors  are stained to match the assorted chairs and tables scattered throughout the room.

Corner Shop Cafe, NoHo, NYU, 643 Broadway, Broadway and Bleeker, New York City, Pinch Pleat, Curtains, Design, Building Decor
Corner Shop Cafe at 643 Broadway

Horizon recently worked with Zeff Design to add a pop of color to the cafe by installing pinch pleat curtains in an orange and white floral pattern. The pattern is contemporary, but pairs well with the sconces and pattern on the pressed-tin.  The cream velvet trim on the end of the curtains gives them a clean finish and adds to the warm palate at Corner Shop Cafe.

Corner Shop Cafe, NoHo, NYU, 643 Broadway, Broadway and Bleeker, New York City, Pinch Pleat, Curtains, Design, Building Decor
Curtains at Corner Shop Cafe

The Importance of Sound-Dampening Curtains

Velvet Curtains in screening room Loft25

Do you or someone who lives in your home play a musical instrument or enjoy listening to music on a big, booming sound system? Then sound-dampening curtains might just be what you’ve been missing.

Made from thick Velour fabric or plastic, sound-dampening curtains are a practical way to reduce noise in homes where there are persons who play a musical instrument or sing.

According to HazelHut:

“Sound absorption matters more for a musician while practicing inside the practice room. If the curtains meant for sound dampening reflect the sound back to the room, their function will not be any different than walls.”

Sound-dampening curtains both block sound from the outside, but also absorb sound from the inside; thus eliminating unnecessary reverb for music being played inside the house while containing unwanted noise in a way that your roommates and neighbors will appreciate.

Contact us here at Horizon for all of your window treatment needs, including sound-dampening Velour curtains.

Bedroom Window Ideas

Custom tie back curtains

If you are looking for great ideas for bedroom window treatments, there’s many directions you can take. Open bedroom windows can fill your room with a nice morning breeze and warm natural light. However, bedroom window treatments are needed to provide you with privacy, too. They also need to have the right style to fit your bedroom decor and help control energy efficiency. The good news is that there are many options available to you. Solutions include blackout shades, sheer curtains, blinds and many other drapery combinations.

Soft Sheer Luminettes with Light Control Vanes

Bedroom Wood Blinds

 

Some bedrooms have one large window in it. If that is what your bedroom has, then you need a large window treatment that is going to work well with the space. A good option for the bedroom is traditional drapery. You have the benefit of added material for privacy and energy efficiency. Drapery is often large enough for oversized windows, too. Another option for large windows is to layer with two curtains. One of these can be a solid option, to provide the privacy that you need while the other can be a sheer for nice daylighting.

Traditional drapery and sheer curtain combination


In bedrooms where you have more than one window or you have a smaller window, you also have options like roller blinds, solar shades, roman shades or drapery. You can even use a combination of these to get the look you are after.


Blackout Shades over a layer of Solar Screen Shades


Stylish orange gold sheer drapes for daylighting and blackout shades for full privacy

Also, consider blackout shades. There are several options on the market but all work the same way. These drapes block out nearly all of the sunlight, giving you a very dark room, ideal for getting good sleep at any time. Electric blackout shades are available that make it easier to control multiple window treatments. You can also choose a dual shade with one being a solar unit and the other being a blackout unit.

Multiple bedroom windows with electric shades and sheers

Choosing the right bedroom window treatment is essential to getting the right look for any bedroom space. A wide range of colors, patterns and fabric options help you to customize your bedroom style.