Monday, November 12, 2012

Starting a new business at 45!

Who says you're too old to start something new?

Faye started her drapery business when she was 45 and now, 25 years later is still in business.

Although there have been tough times, a few things have led to her success of working with clients in their homes.

1. People lover. You must be kind. You don't have to be "nicey nice", but liking people is kind of a given.

2. Prepare your client. Make sure you go over details of what your client can expect as a finished product. Don't assume they know about how the end result is supposed to look. This will minimize problems.

3. Be present. Faye has made sure to be available at the time of installation. Showing up, when your client has invested a lot of money or a little, makes you a more trustworthy person.

4. Follow up. Don't be afraid to make that call or send that email. If your client isn't happy, what can you do to help the situation? Faye has sent countless handwritten thank you cards. "Thank you's" go a long way.

Nothing I mentioned has to do with being a good sales person. Techniques are great and we use them, when appropriate, but we all know there's more to running a business than the latest sales aid.

To celebrate send us an email through our website or call us today to receive 10% off your next fabric purchase or Altex blind order.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Decorating 2 storey windows

June's house (huge Restoration Hardware fan)

France's home. 2 storey bay window

Recently we dragged Dina our photographer along to take some pics of our work. She really wasn't kicking and screaming, we treated her right.

Decorating 2 storey windows can be a challenge. Blinds are great, but if you want to use drapery, going to the top gives you the feeling of height. There's something grand about taking it to the top.

Some things to consider: the extra cost of fabric, professional installation (does your neighbour really know what he's doing? make sure) where to place the hardware, what type of hardware to use.

Feel free to send me an email if you'd like further questions answered regarding decorating a 2 storey window with drapery.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Headboard help

How do you get to bed at night? Do you fall in exhausted and overworked? Or do you get to do something restful, like reading? If "Fifty Shades of Grey" isn't your style, maybe "Wheat Belly" or "Wild" is more like it.

Sometimes our surroundings don't make for the best place to relax. Taking time to make sure your bedroom is uncluttered, visually pleasing and promotes rest can be a challenge, but it's definitely worth it.

Starting with something as simple as a headboard can make a huge difference. Something to lean against other than the wall is great. It doesn't have to be fancy or high end. 

When we first got a headboard, I would head to my room after work and sit on my bed with a cup of tea, it felt so good!

One of our clients, Jana, had seen the Colette bed from Crate and Barrel. She loved it, but not the price. 
Colette bed from Crate and Barrel
Jana's headboard Faye Fortune

We chose a cotton from Joanne fabrics. The nails are brushed silver, they were fun to find! You should be able to find them at a local fabric store. You can visit online sources also.

For more headboard inspiration visit Houzz for lots of great headboard photos. Think outside the box, or visit Pinterest and type headboard tutorial in the search box.

Happy Reading! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nancy's chair

This was Nancy's chair. 

Nancy's chair
I believe she told us that she and her sister had bought it for their mom back in the 60's. Because it has such sentimental value, she decided to have it recovered. 

Nancy's new chair
It got a new skirt and some fringe. Nancy has a great spot at her vanity table, perfect place for it!

Have something meaningful you can't part with? Maybe a little makeover is in order.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amy's Ensuite

This stuff hangs like a dream. Stay tuned for some pics in the near future of gorgeous ensuite drapery.

Robert Allen Tirso in Sesame
Here is Amy's ensuite
Amy's ensuite RA Tirso in Sesame
Framing the window...

For some reason Faye forgot to get a pic of the whole thing. She's so cute!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

High Powered Drapery

Talk about high powered. Recently we had the challenge of motorizing drapery for Chris in his amazing old Ottawa South home. Twenty-two feet of pure window and door, seperated only by a 3.5" perpendicular beam. The challenge was to motorize but also to split the drapery up so the beam wouldn't be an issue. Big THANKS to our installers Richard Burpee and Al Marinier, couldn't have done it without you!

Keep an eye out for this in an upcoming Ottawa magazine that will feature Lori Andrews' designs and also thanks to my design friend Sonya Kinkade of Sonya Kinkade Design for the recommend through twitter. Gotta love Twitter!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bits and Bobs

My friend Amanda is from England, one day I overheard her use the term "bits and bobs" I loved it. So great a description for a bit of this and a bit of that.

It's been way too long... life got busy and blogging took a back seat. Here's a few things we've been working on lately... some bits and bobs!

Kelly's windows. Kelly is an ottawa area decorator and had found some great fabrics to use for her valances. She wanted to go with an east coast look. You can check out her blog for more of her decorating ideas.

Ripplefold. I'd been wanting drapery in our tv room for some time now and finally got around to it. My family mostly rolls their eyes at me when they see me bring the fabric books home. I chose a fun, modern print from Robert Allen Design called Overpass. I decided to use ripple fold at the top instead of traditional pleat. The result was fun. My kids even admitted that the drapery made the room better, now, we actually like being in the room. Hmmm what's next.

Sky's the limit. Height doesn't scare us! But it can be intimidating. We'll keep you posted with the fun we've been having at Chris' place. It involves scaffold and lots of coffee and bribing for my installers! 22 feet high.

Visit our gallary for more window covering ideas.Get more ideas about ripplefold.
Like us on facebook,  follow us on twitter @fayefortune

Monday, March 26, 2012

How to figure fabric repeat for the mathematically challenged!

Gate in charcoal from Dwell Studio Robert Allen

Math was never my strongest subject (not even close) so this is for any of my mathematically challenged designer and decorator friends and any home owner that is planning a drapery or curtain project to do themselves.

You've found the perfect fabric for your drapery panels but now you need to know how much to order. Use these handy instructions for figuring fabric that has a repeated pattern (don't worry if using stripes or plain fabric, that'll be the next blog post)

I keep these instructions handy, you never know when you might need to figure this stuff out! :)

1. Determine your cut length. (this is the finished length you want the drapery panel plus at least 12" for hemming top and bottom)
Cut length ______ divided by the repeat (take the vertical repeat that the fabric has) ______ = ______
2. Take the amount from Step 1 and round up the # of repeats. This is the number of repeats that will be in each cut ______
3. Multiply your new number ______ by the amount of the repeat ______ = ______ new cut length.
4. New cut length ______ x number of panels needed ______ = ______ total fabric in inches.
5. Add one additional repeat to the total fabric in inches. (this is needed because part of the first repeat will be wasted depending on where the pattern starts)
Total fabric in inches (from above) ______ + ______ one repeat = ______ your total fabric in inches.
6. Divide this number ______ by 36 = ______ the total number of yards.

Here's an example so you can see actual numbers and follow along with yours.

Example: Your finished length is 102" and you'll add 12" for hemming top and bottom (16" if you wish) The pattern repeat is 4.5" vertically and you want 1 width of fabric for each side of your window, so 2 panels in total.

Step 1: Your cut length is 114" divided by 4.5 = 25.33.... so round this up (step 2) to 26. You will need 26 repeats in your cut length. Take 26 and (step 3) multiply by 4.5 = 117" This is your new cut length. (step 4) 117" x 2 panels = 234" add 4.5" (step 5) = 238.5" divided by 36 (step 6) = 6.625 yards.... you can round this up to 6 3/4 or 7 yards.

Remember if you want 1 and 1/2 widths of fabric on each side of the window, this means 3 widths in total and you'll want to multiply (step 4) by 3 instead of 2.

I found the above information from Lydiablogg an eHow member on but can no longer locate the original source, the above is my version.

You could also use this handy calculator I found at Wesco Fabrics but sometimes you like to do your own calculations. My math teachers would be so proud I'm sure!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring cleaning....what to do with your gently used items!

Most of us in Ottawa have thought about what to do with our homes since having a few nice weather days. Finishing the basement, renovating the kitchen, updating the living room all require a bit of planning and clean up. What are you doing with your perfectly good furniture and household items that don't match your new decor? Looking for a good home for your stuff?

Think about HWF! That's Helping With Furniture, a volunteer-run charitable group that provides gently used furniture and household goods to refugee claimant families struggling to start a new life in the Ottawa area.

I recently spoke with Natalie Maione, one of the co-founders of this incredibly generous and necessary charity. She gave me some great information about what's needed and how people can get involved.

What can you do for Helping with Furniture?

Give gently used household items: Currently the biggest needs are lamps, blankets, sheets, kitchen items, small appliances and window coverings. If you have furniture that's in sets or matching, this is great, as it allows Helping With Furniture to give a family items that work well together in a room. The volunteers are concerned with helping new Canadians feel at home and inspired.

I was surprised to learn that lamps and window coverings are desperately in need and go a long way in providing a safe and secure feeling for these refugees. Many of the people come from unsafe surroundings and feel vulnerable in a new country. If they're able to turn a light on at night or close their blinds, this makes for a peaceful feeling at home. 

According to Helping With Furniture, the people that are helped have often fled from conflict and life-threatening situations and arrive in Canada with little more than hope to sustain them. Those who can find housing often spend months with little or no furniture.

Give monetary donations: There is no paid staff at Helping With Furniture. To transport, store, deliver and insure the furniture, costs money. Occasionally they buy items that they're short on. There is a cost to this and any donation you make can go a long way.

Attend the annual gala: April 20, 2012 is the 6th annual Helping with Furniture Gala. This is their yearly fund raiser, silent auction.  

What will Helping with Furniture do for you?

Pick up: If you live within these Ottawa boundaries, Helping With Furniture will arrange to pick up your items. Check here to see if you live with in the mapped area. If you don't, they do have a drop off facility also.

Recycle: No one likes to see household items and furniture that are in perfectly good shape go to a land fill site. By sending your gently used items to Helping With Furniture you are contributing to the greening of Ottawa. That's for all my friends who don't see themselves as being green! You can be!

Provide Volunteer Opportunities: If you've been saying to yourself, you'd like to get involved in the Ottawa community, now is a great time. Helping With Furniture is in need of movers, volunteer-coordinating team members, drivers, drop-off volunteers, fund-raisers, data bank organizers and donor contacts.

Students looking to do their volunteer hours may also be able to do so through Helping With Furniture.

On top of these great benefits, you'll know that the simple act of giving something you have little use for now, will have great value for someone else.

We were recently able to help a refugee family ourselves, in a small way. They weren't looking for hand outs, they appreciated everything and are actively looking to better themselves and their kids here in Canada. 

When you're cleaning out your closest.... think about HWF!

Visit Helping With Furniture, their Facebook page and follow them on twitter @HWF2005

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Covering arched windows

Yes, the elusive arch window. So pretty, so frustrating to cover, for most homeowners and some designers too! Here are some ideas to keep in mind when covering arched windows. Consider if you need sun protection, privacy or want something completely decorative that doesn't need to function.

Options to consider are nothing, drapery, shutters, blinds and cafe style.

Nothing is an option, if you don't need sun protection or privacy and your arched window is a piece of art itself. Look at this picture and think about what you might do. Would you choose a blind and if so where would you mount it? Would you choose a fabric shade or drapery?

Cottage 52 Foyer & Stair Hall mediterranean hall

Classic Coastal Colonial Renovation - Breakfast Nook contemporary kitchen
contemporary kitchen design by new york
 general contractor 
Michael Robert Construction

Draperies are a great option. Mount the rod above the arch or at an obvious break in the window. Keeping your budget in mind, the higher you go, the more fabric that's required.

Sherry Hart traditional family room
living room contemporary living room

Shutters are a custom option for sure. Templates required! If you have a local craftsman, like we do (James Hill of Shutters Direct) wood shutters are a gorgeous option. James' shutters come with a 10 year warranty. Take shutters part way up (see bottom shutter picture) and leave natural light coming in. Shutters are a great option for this window because they're mounted on the sides with hinges, no worries about where to put the brackets.

Master Bathroom traditional bathroom
Blinds like silhouettes (Hunter Douglas style) part way up, don't need a center bracket if the window isn't too wide so you can mount with end brackets at the height that works best. If you're window is really wide, another consideration would need to be made. Woven shades, bamboo style look great also, depending on your style. Most blind companies will make specialty shaped blinds that fit exactly.

Owners Bath traditional bathroom
traditional bathroom design by philadelphia 
design-build Echelon Custom Homes

Cafe style is a good option if you have a fabric that you want to display, need a bit of privacy and want to add some interest. You can use a tension rod inside the window or take a decorative rod across to the outside as long as your fabric's not too heavy to be supported by 2 outside brackets. (not always a place for a center bracket).

Kathleen Kedigh traditional living room
traditional living room design

Arch windows don't have to be so elusive, take some time and think about your options, style and function.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Inspiration for house and home decorating....Houzz!

houzz interior design ideas

Home owners: If you're looking for amazing interior pictures and ideas to use for your house and home decorating. I'd like to suggest Houzz! Pronounced House.

Professionals: This includes anyone that works in the residential interior or exterior field. Home stagers, architects, interior decorators, window covering specialists, general contractors, landscape designers, closet and home storage designers and photographers. These are only to name a few. If you're looking to make connections in your local area, promote your services and showcase your work, I'd like to suggest Houzz to you too!

Jenkins Baer Associates traditional living room
Houzz is kind of like the Pinterest of the residential interior and exterior design world. On Pinterest you'll see lots of pictures that came from Houzz.

What can you do on Houzz? Lots! Glad you asked.

Create Ideabooks: Like Pinterest you can create ideabooks. When you come across something you like, you add it to your own ideabooks. You can create multiple books and comment on what you like about the picture. Keep them for projects you plan to work on and get your creativity flowing!

Ask Questions: You can ask questions of professionals that upload their pictures. This is a great way to learn about projects you can do yourself.

Tag items: If you see a picture and know where an item came from, you can tag it.

Create Profile: If you're a professional you can create a profile for your location, upload your professional pictures and show what you have to offer.

Browse pictures: There are thousands of pictures to see for every room in the house and outside the house.
You can also search pictures of products. There are different styles to choose from depending on your taste.

Embed pictures: If you have a blog or website, you can embed photos and ideabooks into it. This makes blogging really easy.

There's lots to see and do on, try it, it's free.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Manuel Canovas, pinning and blogging!

I recently discovered Manuel Canovas, a fabric design company from London, I also recently discovered Pinterest, a time sucking awesome adventure that is making blogging so much easier!

Thanks to Pinterest my family may never have another hot meal. No, it's not that bad, I need to set a timer for myself though, seriously getting carried away. At this moment, I have the house to myself and what am I doing?.... Pinning and blogging.

Sometimes it's hard to image what a certain fabric would look like when used in your home. What is it about the combination of these fabrics and colours that are so inspiring? 

In the above picture they used the stripe fabric from the first picture as drapery.

You may wonder how this would look, check out the chair below.

Ok, maybe we say "no" to the wallpaper, the chair is really sweet!

Sweet chair!

More fun fabrics from Manuel Canovas.

Daring, yet it looks so fun!

Find more inspiration from Manuel Canovas!

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