Blinds (and curtains) Online

Would you be happy to live naked, completely exposed to the world at all times?
What about a sheet? Would you be happy to wear a sheet in lieu of a beautiful frock?
Of course not!

Then why do we leave our windows stark naked and expose our lives to the whole world with no privacy?
Then we decide we need privacy ….. so we staple ugly old sheets up on our windows, is that look you are trying to achieve?
In my case the ugly sheets may have been a better option, I inherited these putrid pink curtains with our new house, I say putrid not because of the colour but because I’m pretty sure they had been hanging there for 20+ years, and I’m pretty sure they had never been cleaned, they were PUTRID! They were also very heavy and dark and I had no option to control the light in the room other than open or closed. They made the room feel dark, dated and dirty.

Some of us live with our current situation because window coverings can be tricky, the options are endless and confusing and we don’t know where to start. Or maybe you decided to take the plunge and got a a local curtain maker around for a quote and were blown away by the price. Or maybe you got savvy and decided to order them online but the process of ordering and hanging them yourself was a little overwhelming.

I’ve done the research, got the quotes and made the mistakes, now I’m here to share all my tips for getting the perfect window treatment at the best price without the hassles and headaches.

Your first step is deciding what type of window covering you would like in your space.
You need to consider both practical and functional elements, as well as the decorative factors of how it will make your room look and feel.

Lets talk about practicality and functionality.
Think about your natural sunlight or light from other sources like street lights or adjacent building. How much you do you want to control it? Do you need a full blockout, or do you want to filter the light? Also consider which way the window is facing, the sun can be harsh in Australia and choosing the right lining can help you with heat and energy efficiency.

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Sunscreen Roller Blind

Often a bedroom will require a sheer for privacy and a blockout for sleeping, this can’t always be achieved with one layer and you might need to consider a blockout blind with a sheer curtain, or a blockout curtain and a sheer curtain, or a double blind.

Double Roller Blind

What other elements do you need to consider in this space? If it is a bathroom you might need to consider water and condensation and choose a material that can withstand the moisture.

Honeycomb Blind

Next, think about your furniture placement. Are you putting a piece of furniture under a window? In that case I would choose a blind, curtains never fall nicely if they are tucked behind a piece of furniture, and sill length curtains don’t give you the same impact a beautifully made roman blind or classic plantation shutters will.

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Roman Blind

Lastly, where are you going to hang your window coverings and/or stack them? Do you have room to hang a curtain rod above your window? If you don’t have room above your window, can you hang curtains from the ceiling, or can you fit a blind recessed inside your window architrave? Do you have space to stack your curtains to the side? If you chose a plantation shutter, have you got room to open it to access the window?

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Plantation Shutters

Now lets talk about the look you want to achieve and how to choose fabrics and colours.
What is your decor style? Do you want your space to feel casual and relaxed or would you prefer a more tailored and formal look? Some types of window coverings work better with certain styles than others, for example, a floral curtain would be perfect in a cottage, but probably not in a sleek and modern highrise with minimalist style. It would take me days to go through all the different styles and options available, I would suggest popping on to Pinterest and finding your style, then have a look at the window treatments that are used in the rooms you love.

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Pinch Pleat Curtains

Often larger rooms with large windows look beautiful with curtains and smaller rooms benefit from the more streamlined look of blinds, but this isn’t always the case and each room needs to be considered individually. Maybe you have an tiny window with an amazing outlook, curtains are a great way to frame your view.

Curtains framing a small window

When you are choosing your fabric and colours consider what other elements are already in the room, things like floor coverings, paint colours or wallpaper and existing furniture. Remember, you don’t have to create a matchy matchy space, but you want all your colours and patterns to compliment each other. If in doubt, choose a beautiful sheer curtain or neutral fabric, they are timeless and won’t date.

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S-Fold Sheer Curtain

Lastly, don’t forget to consider what your house will look like from the outside? You might prefer all your window coverings to be the same colour from the front of your home, or it might not matter to you at all.

When I finished my research and I was confident I would make the right decisions, I took the plunge and ordered my curtains and blinds for my living room from Blinds Online.

Here’s the thought process I had for my space.
It’s a tricky bay window, very large and high with multiple 135 degree angles and minimal space at the sides to stack my curtains.

BEFORE – the putrid pink curtains!

I wanted to filter the light, and would usually choose a sheer but I ruled this out as I didn’t want to block the view. The window faces East and gets the morning sun for a short period of time, I decided a roman blind would be perfect as I can lower them enough to block the sun but not close of the window entirely. We also have a fireplace in this room and I wanted it to feel cosy in the winter, so I added a curtain to layer over the blinds. Having two layers gives me the ultimate choice to control the light from partly blocked with the roman blind to nearly full blockout if I close both the blind and curtains. You can choose from S-fold, Eyelet, Pencil Pleat or Pinch Pleated curtain headings, I chose the pinch pleat for this room for it’s classic and tailored look.
I chose to recess fit the roman blinds as the windows are very high and it will only block the light I want it to block.
The curtains will be ceiling hung on a simple rod I had bent to mimic the shape of my window as this gives me the cleanest, most streamlined look and doesn’t detract from the beautiful roman blinds. I know I’m ignoring my own advice as I don’t have space at the sides to stack the curtains back on the walls, but as I also said, each room is individual and some rules need to be broken, especially when you are dealing with a tricky window.

Roman Blind – V&A William Morris Fruit, Autumn

As for fabric choices, I knew I wanted something fun, but also timeless and I wanted to add colour without it being too bright or overwhelming. I saw the Blinds Online  collaboration with V&A featuring the range of William Morris fabrics and I knew this was something I would like. I popped online and had a browse. I instantly fell in love with a fabric called Fruit (AKA as Pomegranate) in the Autumn colour palette. I knew I had to use it, but things often look different on your computer screen than what they do it person, so I ordered a few samples. You can order up to 10 samples for free to help you choose at home from Blinds Online. I knew I was having a roman blind and a curtain so I also ordered a few plain fabric samples for the roman blind that I thought would coordinate well with one of the patterned fabrics I chose.

Once my samples arrived I placed them in my space and observed how they looked throughout the day with the changing daylight. I still loved the Fruit fabric and had to use it. I knew that the curtains wouldn’t get closed often in this room and certainly not during the day, but I really wanted to appreciate the full pattern of this fabric so I decided to switch up my original plan and use it as the roman blind where I could enjoy the full design more often.
Then I chose a plain Oatmeal linen blend for the curtains, It compliments the Fruit fabric and is beautifully classic and timeless.

Curtains – Bijou Oatmeal Linen

Now I knew what type of window coverings I wanted and I’d chosen my fabrics, it was time to measure up and order online. I know this sounds scary, but it really isn’t hard at all. Before you start measuring, here’s a few things to consider –
* Even if your windows are all different, try to have your window coverings all at the same height.
* Place your curtain rods high above your window and extend it out past the window so your curtains stack on the wall not on the window, but be careful not to expose any wall between the window and curtains. This will make your windows look larger and grander. It will not reduce any daylight, but it will provide a better blockout when they are closed.
* When determining the length, nearly touching the floor is ideal, Blinds Online suggest 15mm above the floor. I know we’ve all seen the images of curtains puddled on the floor on Pinterest, it looks so luxurious and glamorous, it’s hardly practical if you have kids and pets, but if you have a space it will work in, go for it!

To measure up you will need a tape measure, something to write your measurements down on and possibly a stool if you need to reach your ceiling. I also found it handy to have another person to help me hold the tape measure in place since my window was so big.
Tip : Please don’t try and use a ruler and shimmy it along to measure a large window, you want these measurements to be as accurate as possible.
Bigger Tip : Follow the measuring instructions online from Blind Online, they are the experts who have been doing this for for 46 years, and online for more than 14 years. They know what they are doing. If you take the time to read the instructions and follow them closely, you will be fine. They are written in easy to understand language with lots of pictures and diagrams to help you. They have separate instructions for blinds, shutters and curtains.

Once you’ve placed your order you can track it here.

As soon as I’ve got mine ready to go, I’ll show you how to hang them and the before and after photos.
I can’t wait, are you as excited as me?

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Wallpaper : Peel & Stick Vs Pasted

I love pattern and colour.
I love the emotions of colour, I love the way it can change the mood in a room, I love the way pink takes me back to my childhood and makes me smile, or the way blue reminds me of the ocean and makes me feel cool and relaxed.
I love the playfulness and personality of patterns, I love how patterns can make me feel calm or invigorated, I love how a simple stripe makes me feel at peace, or a sprawling wall of flowers makes me insanely happy.

So why not use the largest canvas in your room to conjure all those emotions? Wallpaper is one of the most statement stealing, impact punching and cost effective ways to convert your room from boring to breathtaking.
Wallpaper has recently made a huge comeback, there is something to suit every style and the options are endless.

I recently worked with Edge Wall Art and wallpapered two rooms in our new home and I used different types of wallpaper for each room. For Bella’s room I used a peel & stick paper and for Lucy’s room I used a pasted paper. I did it myself with very minimal help from my teenager daughter. I had so many of you message me with question about how easy/hard it was to hang, which style I preferred and how long it took.

Firstly, lets talk about the peel & stick paper.

Upon receiving my paper I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness and quality, despite being called wallpaper, it’s actually a polyester type fabric. The printing was sharp and saturated and the pattern was exactly as it was represented on the website.

I took my time to read the enclosed instructions and make sure my walls were prepped and ready for the wallpaper.

We started on the left side as specified in the instructions. Its important that you start on this side as the overlap of the joins is printed to go from left to right. It is like a giant sticker and you literally peel away the backing paper and stick it to the wall, a little bit like contacting your school books.

The first panel is probably the most important as it sets up the lines for the rest of the panels. Unfortunately for me our first panel was a tricky one as it had a 45% turn in the wall and our gyprock wall finish was not very straight, that’s what you get with a 25 year old house I suppose. Despite that hurdle we managed to get it up okay and it was all smooth sailing from there.

I was pretty happy with the finish except for one panel that I didn’t get straight and the overlap pattern doesn’t line up exactly. Luckily the floral print is busy enough that it is not very noticeable. In hindsight, I should have made sure the top was straight with the ceiling cornice and in line with the pattern, then let the wallpaper fall naturally rather than try to manipulate the paper to match the pattern from the sides. In other words, I should have listened to the instructions from the professionals instead of doing it my way … *insert big eye roll at myself* … you live and learn!

So, what’s my verdict on the peel & stick wallpaper?
The sticky is pretty sticky and I did manage to get myself stuck and to also fold the paper back on itself more that once, fortunately it peels apart easily and can be removed and re-stuck multiple times until you get it right. I also have a few tiny air bubbles which I didn’t notice while I was hanging it, they can only be seen at night time with the lights on, I could probably fix them but they are so small and hardly noticeable so I’m going to leave them alone.
It took me about 2-3 hours to hang this paper.
The peel & stick is great for renters as it can be removed easily, and also for people who change their mind often like me!

Now, lets look at the pasted wallpaper.

When this wallpaper arrived I instantly fell in love. Sometimes I am hesitant buying things online because the colours can look different, and I took a risk with this one and didn’t order a sample first, but when I opened it I was so excited and couldn’t wait to hang it. The pasted paper is actually a paper, not a fabric, it is thick and the colours are rich and beautiful.

Again, read the instructions and makes sure your walls are clean and suitable for wallpaper.

Lucy’s wall was easy peasy, straight across without any weird angles. I used a laser level in this room to make sure my lines were straight and to show me how far I needed to paste the wall for each panel. I used a roller and applied the glue generously enough to get a good even coverage. Again, we started on the left side.

This paper is also printed to overlap from left to right like the peel & stick. Once it is hung you can choose to leave the overlap or you can choose to do a double cut, which is what I did. It sounds scary, but it really is quite easy, you just use a razor blade or knife and run down the join making sure you are cutting through both layers of paper at the same time. Then you remove the excess strips from both panels and your cut lines will line up perfectly.

It hung like a dream and was quick and easy. The finish is perfect, I managed to get this up without any bubbles, the patterns line up and the edges are straight and even.

My thoughts on the pasted paper? I found it much easier to hang, I think taking the sticky factor out of the equation gives you the extra ability to move it around and get it straight, you can actually slide it around the wall a little to get it perfect. It is however, a little bit messier, excess glue will be pushed out the side as you smooth out your paper and you should have a damp sponge to clean it up as you go. It does require the added steps of rolling the glue on the walls and cleaning it off at the end. It took about 3-4 hours to hang and clean up.

So which do I prefer?

This seems to be a really personal decision and people really love one or the other. While they both have their advantages and you will end up with a beautiful wall with both options,  I prefer the pasted wallpaper. I am not a professional and I found the pasted paper easier to get a perfect finish. Although I wouldn’t rule out using peel & stick again, I would chose pasted if I had the option.

Luckily, Edge Wall Art have both options available.
If you’re keen to have a go at wallpapering, I’ve got you!
Use this discount code – use ‘mumlittleloves’ for 10% off at Edge Wall Art (valid until 1st June in Australia only).

Happy Wallpapering!

Hayley x

Cricut my home.

A few weeks ago I introduced you to my Cricut Maker when I made some party decorations for my daughters formal.
Since my first project I’ve had a chance to play with my machine and I’m starting to use it regularly and understand its capabilities.

This time I want to share with you a few of the sticker/label type projects I’ve completed.

Firstly, I want to show you how the easy it is to create a label for anything. I shared the step-by-step instructions on how to use the software, connect to your machine via Bluetooth and cut your projects here.

Using that process, here’s a couple of projects I have done with adhesive vinyl in the past few weeks.

LAUNDRY SIGN
Do you ever wonder what all those little pictures mean on your textile care labels? I did too, so I created this laundry sign using an old white board I already had and navy blue adhesive vinyl.
All of the icons and the ‘laundry’ word can be found in the Cricut Design Space.

I used the Cricut Design Space to plan my layout.

The Cricut software automatically chooses the best layout for cutting your design to minimise wastage.

I measured each icon and used a ruler to get a straight line and equal distances apart.

The vinyl is so easy to use, I find it strangely satisfying when I peel back the transfer tape.

I have saved my project here in case you would like to use it.

LEGO STORAGE
Orlando’s LEGO used to be stored all together in one big plastic box, it made it near impossible to find anything and we usually ended up tossing it all on the floor when he played with it. Have you ever stood on a piece of LEGO? OUCH!
We were determined to find a better storage solution. I had this small set of drawers left over from the office at the last house and we thought the large shallow drawers would be perfect for LEGO.

We sorted the LEGO and decided what would work the best in each drawer, and we made the labels in about 15 minutes with the Cricut. Orly loves it and it saves me from stepping on LEGO!

We also glued some of the LEGO base plates to the top of the drawers so he has somewhere to build his creations.

Again, you can find my LEGO labels here.

VEGETABLE GARDEN

It’s no secret I am not a gardener, I kill everything from cactus to peace lilies. This poor little vegetable garden is going to need all the help it can get. I thought that if I could at least identify the vegetables I’m trying to grow I could google how to care for them. I bought plastic plant markers from my local hardware store and made teeny labels for all my little seedlings.

I hope you found some inspiration to organise something in your home this week!

When my house is organised, my headspace feels organised, the more my house is labelled, the more tabs I can close in my head. Do you know what I mean?
I feel like I have 300 files open in my brain, like a computer, but when my life is organised I can keep that number down and clear my mind.

I’m going to attempt some felt pennants next and I cant wait to share them with you.

Happy Crafting!

Hayley x

Master Mini Makeover with Madras Link

Making your house a ‘home’ has never been more important. We are all spending much more time at home, in fact most of us are spending all our time at home during the Covid-19 self isolation. Take the opportunity to create a space that you love, a space that makes you feel nurtured and a space that you want to spend time in.

As most of you know, we moved house a couple of months ago. Our master bedroom hasn’t had any attention and is looking a little unloved, the room needs some work, but in this current climate it might be some time before we can access new curtains and flooring. That doesn’t mean that I can’t make it into our sanctuary right now.

I’ve given it a mini makeover with my friends at Madras Link and I’d love to share it with you …..
AND
We’d also like to extend a very special offer to all of my Mum Little Loves readers!!!

Firstly, let me tell you why I love Madras Link.
They are an Australian business that design everything in house. They travel the world to find inspiration, then start each season with a storyboard. Their designers paint the prints which are used across their range of furniture, lighting, tableware and textiles. This means that you won’t find that print anywhere else. It’s becoming harder and harder to find unique homewares these days and I love that I can buy from Madras link and know that it is an exclusive design.

I particularly love their Country Style range. It is relaxed and cosy with natural elements and fresh prints.
Just wait till you see the new rattan furniture, a pair of these incredible rocking chairs just went straight to the top of my wishlist. Oh so swoonworthy!

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Back to my bedroom.
You all know how much I love blue, and I haven’t removed it completely, but I definitely felt like something different for this house. After living in a bold blue bedroom at the last house, I was longing for something calm, fresh and peaceful.
I have been drawn to green lately, a colour I never thought I’d love so much after wearing a green school uniform for most of my primary school years that I absolutely hated, but here I am … swooning after all the pretty green things.

When I saw this beautiful cushion featuring blue and green proteas I knew that it was the starting point for my mini makeover. I adore blue and green together and this cushion immediately stole my heart.

I chose a couple more cushion to coordinate with the proteas, I like to draw the colours from the feature cushion and enhance it with at least one block colour cushion and another pattern. The pistachio velvet cushion gives me a pop of subtle green, while the blue and green stitched cushion adds some texture and a different shape to the trio.

I chose the throws with the same ideas in mind, colour and texture. The olive faux fur throw adds rich colour and luxurious texture, it makes you want to snuggle up with a hot drink and a good movie. The second throw adds more interest with a plaid pattern in blue, cream and mustard. I love plaid, it’s a classic pattern that mixes easily with most prints, especially florals. It looks warms and cozy in this gentle colour palette.

The green lamps make a statement with their glossy speckled finish and voluptuous shape. The shade of green is perfect and the linen shades are timeless. I fell in love with these immediately. 

Including a few creature comforts in your bedroom elevates it from a boring bedroom to a place where you can linger and lounge for a little longer. A tray is ideal for cups of tea, iPads and books. It’s handy at bedtime, but just as practical in nearly every other room in your home … serving food in the kitchen, a centrepiece on your dining room table, a styled vignette on your coffee table or a catchall in your front entry.
This tray is full of charm with its parquetry finish and soft circular shape.

Which brings me to this incredible chunky wood framed mirror that I chose for above my bed, it would have been perfect to add some warmth and natural texture. I love the circular shape which works so well above a bed, unfortunately we discovered that our fireplace chimney runs from downstairs up the wall to behind our bed. We aren’t keen to start drilling screws into the chimney until we are sure exactly what is behind there, so I hung the lightweight vintage paintings which I will add to and create a gallery wall, then I hung the gorgeous mirror downstairs in my front entry.

It ended up being a happy mistake because I absolutely love it there, as you can see, so does Skipper!

I took the opportunity to style a few of the other pieces with the mirror so you can see how well they all work together, you can also see how versatile these pieces are and how they look equally as gorgeous in a bedroom as they do in a living space of your home.

The country style lantern is functional and versatile in gorgeous grey aluminium and finished with a sweet leather handle. This is one of those pieces that will look good anywhere, it allows you to have a substantial size candle and the glass hurricane enhances the candles glow.

The ribbed vase is the perfect shade of blue and the ribbed design is textural and interesting.

I like to work with odd numbers for little vignettes or styled tray like this. I bought the sweet wooden pear from Madras Link last year knowing it would be a great little accent for styling, unfortunately it has sold out, but they still have an equally as cute apple.

Speaking of cute … I couldn’t resist sharing a couple outtake photos, I told you my pets were little models, they see the camera and they just have to get in front of it!

Isn’t it amazing how just a few pieces can make such a difference to a space.
Don’t be afraid to layer textiles, mix patterns and venture outside your comfort zone and try something different. I never thought I’d use green in my bedroom, but to tell you the truth, I think it’s my favourite bedroom look so far and I’ll definitely be using more green.

You can find all the pieces I used in my room from Madras Link here.

Now for that special offer, its a good one –
Use the code MUMLITTLELOVES for 25% off all full-priced items at www.madraslinkonline.com.au
*Offer valid until 30th April 2020
HURRY!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x