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Choose Your Window Treatments
By Plow & Hearth
2/21/2013 2:57:00 PM
Thermalogic™ Energy Efficient Insulated Solid Grommet-Top Curtains 

Curtains are the crowning touch in home decorating projects. Although window treatments definitely shouldn't be installed until all the messy work is done, you need to decide early in the planning stages what you want to accomplish by dressing your windows. You may want to make a room look larger or cozier or maybe you need to disguise some awful architectural feature or a wall-mounted air conditioner. Many of us simply want to let in light and minimize the neighbors' view. A well-chosen, properly installed window treatment is the answer!

What Style Is Your Room?

Window treatments define a room's style. Formal windows often include a combination of elements like pleated headers, sheers layered with heavier lined drapery, swags and jabots or valences. Complicated hardware can require professional installation and demanding fabrics may need dry cleaning.

In contrast, country windows tend to be simpler. Curtains may have casings, grommets or tab tops for the rods to slip through. With casings, you might have fancy finials on the ends of the rod, or the mount might include a narrow plate shelf above it. With tab tops, you generally see the entire length of the rod (even when the curtains are drawn), so consider the choices in metal, painted, and natural rods - they can recede into the woodwork or steal the show.

Curtain Rod Collection

The Choice Is Yours

When choosing your curtain length, it's all a matter of taste. Sill and apron lengths are less formal than floor length – you can hang them just skimming the floor (by about 1 1/2 - 2") or “puddle” them for a more elegant look.

Caught between the desire for more privacy and more light? Café Curtains are often the solution, with lots of possibilities in top valance treatments. You can raise the rod above the window to increase glass space or use two rods to hang a second valance in the same or a contrasting fabric. Include a graphic on how a valance looks.

Insulated Curtains offer a stylish and functional solution to window decorating. Insulated curtains work equally well in the winter and summer to reduce energy costs. Curtains lined with Thermalogic™ material reduce energy consumption by minimizing drafts and adding an additional layer of insulation. Click here to view insulated curtains.

Insulated Curtains also keep out most sunlight, so you rest easier and sleep longer. In addition, they cut the glare on TV and computer screens, and reduce fading on carpets caused by direct sunlight.

For windows or glass doors, Window Shades offer a clean and fitted look. Covering just the glass portion, shades leave the trim and walls around the windows uncovered. Easy to raise and lower without cords, they’re a simple and functional solution to managing privacy and light at any window. Blackout shades completely prevent light from entering the room.

Easy Glide Cordless Roman Shade
Cordless Roman Shades

Outdoor Curtains help keep your outdoor living spaces cool, shaded and private. Our collection includes outdoor panels made from durable, easy- to-clean and fade-resistant Olefin material that will block 85% of UV rays. Air can still flow through the material reducing temperatures by 30%. Tension rods are available for outdoor installations.

Olefin Curtain Panels

Tension Rods

Measure Once…Then Do It Again!

Proper measuring is essential for a good fit. Use the below chart as a guide to get the measurements you need. Remember, the total area needs to be considered in terms of open and closed coverage.

Measure the length from the rod, but keep in mind that a casing may be several inches from the actual top of a ruffled curtain, and tab tops and grommet tops hang directly from the rod.

If you intend to pull curtains back with ties of some kind, you need to plan on more length so that the inner edge of the curtain still falls gracefully.

What To Do With Tiny, Dark Windows?

If you want to make a window look wider, attach wood blocks to the wall outside the upper corners of the molding, paint to match the walls, and mount the hardware on these blocks. You might gain as much as 6 inches on each side of a window, allowing more light to enter the room if the open curtains expose the entire glass area when they are entirely open.

For more height, mount the blocks above the corners of the molding and consider curtain styles with wide, ruffled rod casings to hide them. Also consider mounting rods inside the frame if you want to show off interesting antique woodwork or a specialty paint job.

Consider Cleaning

Be sure to note the cleaning instructions for any curtains or drapery you buy, especially those for bathrooms or kitchens, which usually require more frequent cleaning. Look for easy-care fabrics that can be laundered at home, even if you want lined or insulated styles. After all, just because you want to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, you don't need to sacrifice washability!

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The Olla: A Brief History

Olla (Spanish, pronounced “oh-ya”) jars have been around since ancient times. Made of unglazed ceramic, ollas traditionally have short, narrow necks with wider bodies, and are made in a variety of shapes. They have been used for thousands of years for cooking, storage, and plant irrigation.

When used to irrigate plants, an olla is buried neck-deep in the ground near a plant’s roots, with the opening of the olla extended above the soil so that it can be filled with water periodically. The porous walls of the unglazed pottery allow the water to seep through gradually, constantly and consistently hydrating the plants without overwatering them – and without wasting precious water to evaporation or runoff.

The use of ollas for irrigation was introduced to the American Southwest by Spanish conquistadors during Colonial times, becoming very common among Native American tribes and Hispanic settlers. Though the technique gave way to more modern methods of irrigation some time ago, its superior efficiency, coupled with its simplicity, has caused it to make a comeback. Though the technique has changed little since its introduction, today’s ollas are usually capped off, making them even more water-efficient.

Perfect for home gardens, Ollas are a super-easy, eco-friendly, less time-consuming way to water annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and plants of all kinds in dry, sandy soil, very hot or drought-prone areas, raised beds, and even pots, planters and hanging baskets. Fill the olla before you leave on a short vacation to enjoy worry-free watering – and a smaller water bill!

How it Works:

Water is pulled directly through the terra-cotta!

Read more about Ollas on our blog.

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