Expand Window Design Solutions With Short Curtain Rods

Chalk this up as one of those solutions that is so obvious I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it earlier: extra-short curtain rods. These petite pretties are an ideal fit for a tight wall space, curiously shaped windows and a host of other design problems which produce a complete pole difficult to install. They will not necessarily provide privacy — they’re used more as a decorative finishing touch, decorating a view with floor-to-ceiling texture and color. If you want to display sunlight or prying eyes, you will have to coating them with blinds, shutters, shades or sheers.

There are lots of short curtain rods in a variety of styles on the market. But if a full size model catches your attention, think about using a carpenter or metalsmith cut it down to size.

Where could you use shorter curtain rods in your house? Let us know in the Remarks.

Erika Bonnell Interiors

Arched windows can be difficult to frame with standard drapery rods, but shorter variations in this space work beautifully. They enable continuation of the drapery panels which dress the window, yet are not so long as they seem monolithic.

Paula Grace Designs, Inc..

Abbreviated rods work well in a small area where full-length models might appear overbearing. Here, dangling them right at the ceiling prevents them from getting lost in a field of wall space and visually heightens the room.

Peregrine Design Build

Got a window which reaches the ceiling? Here is the solution. Short striped drapes on small rods add color and volume to what otherwise could be a corner.

Layout By Lisa

Full rods and drapes will not always fit into narrow slivers of distance; these miniature ones permit the panels to remain tightly gatheredout of the way of the windows.

Driggs Designs

This room requires a similar strategy. On long rods the drapes would seem too awkward and laborious.

Shoreline Construction and Development

Sometimes a complete rod simply appears too thick for an airy space similar to this one. These allow for draperies to soften the bank of windows without upsetting the serene balance.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

I adore this solution for dressing up a bay window. Angled rods fit neatly into the corners and play up the design.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Short rods nimbly bridge the gap between the sliding doors and the small window tucked beside the fireplace .

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Guest Groups: Winter Lights to Ward Off Nights

The months leading up to and away from the winter solstice are the darkest in the year. It’s no wonder that through this year we all string lights combined banisters and lampposts and turn our attention to merrymaking. Here’s an assortment of wintry lights that will brighten up your house when it needs it most. Whether it’s with a crackling flame or a series of cheery lights, may you find ways to remain bright this year and always. — Erin from Reading My Tea Leaves


Star Pendant Chandelier – $176

I have always enjoyed these star pendants as welcoming lights on front porches and in entryways. During the time of year, they are especially cheery.

MCMC Fragrances

Maine Candle – $48

Inspired from the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine, this candle would be only right for long winter nights.


Bonfire Log – $28

This bonfire log could help kick off an outside bonfire or keep building a fire easy in an indoor fireplace.


Vintage Brass Candleholder by Pinch of Paprika – $15.32

As a teen, I had a candlestick like this one alongside my bed. I loved the romance of reading by candlelight.


Rustic Wall Sconce from Worley’s Lighting – $48.50

My couch gets a lot more business in the wintertime than in other seasons. With wooden sconces to read by, I would bring a book and snuggle up for the length.

West Elm

Metallic Cord Set, Copper – $39

I don’t incorporate much metallic into my customary decorating, but a little pop of something shiny might be just right for winter.


Tree Branch Candleholders by Worley’s Lighting – $32.50

This woodsy candle set would be perfect to cozy up a non-working fireplace.


3-D Light Study 2 by A Vibrant Black – $900

Made especially to reflect the light, this piece belongs on a sunny wall to help brighten a small space.


Antique Brass/Gold Pendant

These brass lampshades remind me of Christmas bells. They’d be amazing in December and year long.


Glass-Shade Lamp – $1,280

This lamp is elegant without being fussy. Tucked into a corner, this would make the perfect reading light.


White Birch Forest Lamp, Natural White Birch Wood by Urban+ Forest – $60

A luminous birch log appears to be the perfect antidote to some gloomy day spent inside.

Restoration Hardware

Starry String Lights, Diamond Lights on Silver Wire – $15

These might be the cutest little series lights I have ever noticed. I would be tempted to leave them up all year.


Swedish Snowball Lantern – $68

A snowball lantern is delightful whether or not it is shining. I think it would be especially well suited on top of a fir tree.


Moderate Simple Arrow Tail by Halona Glass – $60

The bead bevels in this light hearted will, as the manufacturer herself says, “make any opinion magnificent.” I think it.


Otis Light, White With Swiveling Walnut Socket by Onefortythree – $185

This swinging wall lamp with a walnut socket is beautiful any time of year, but its bright white and warm wood are especially evocative of wintry snowscapes.


Pleated String Lights by Pigeon Toe Ceramics – $224

The delicate ceramic covers on these very small globe lights are easy and beautiful. I really like them used here: strung up across a broad room.


No. 5 Spruce Soy Wax Candle by Pommes Frites – $15

I had light this candle each evening of December for a soft glow and a wintry odor.


Giant Silver Bowl Clip Clamp Light With Zigzag Cord from Earth Sea Warrior – $115

The little white clamp on this light means it can hang out in whatever corner requires it most.


Vintage Tin Candleholder Clips, Silver by Lazy Days Relics

String lights on Christmas trees and mantels are more practical than candles for lots of reasons, but this pair of classic tin candleholder clips would be beautiful in a carefully attended place.


Himmeli Miniature Light Strand by AMradio

If there’s one thing chilly is good for, it is casting long shadows. This himmeli light strand throws a geometric pattern when it is lit.

Next: Smart Bulbs for Better Lighting

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DIY Cement Pond Rocks

The expense of buying rocks to decorate around a backyard pond quickly adds up, but you can cut costs and create your own rocks with cement mixture. The rocks bind together best in the event that you use a mixture that combines cement with an aggregate to make concrete. Rocks can be made in all shapes and sizes, whether you would like to border the edge of the pond with medium-sized stones or create a bigger boulder chair.

Mixing the Concrete

The concrete mix needs to be of a moderate consistency, someplace between thick pancake batter and thin peanut butter. You can mix dry cement, gravel, sand and water at a ratio of roughly 3 parts gravel, 2 parts coarse masonry sand, 1 part dry 1 and cement to 2 parts water. Add the water a bit at a time until you arrive at the correct consistency. Concrete mixes come with the cement, sand and gravel pre-measured and mixed in a bag so all you have to do is add water. As a rule of thumb, it requires 3 quarts of water to mix an 80 pound bag of concrete. Start with 2 quarts of water and put in as much or as little of this last quart to mix the concrete without making it too thin.

Forming the Rocks

Little pond rocks can be formed in sand bed molds. Dig a hole in a bed of sand in the desirable rock shape, fill the hole with the concrete mixture and dig up the finished stone after it hardens. Make medium-sized rocks by bending chicken wire to the desired size and shape and covering it with concrete. You might even use lightweight foam or rubble, like concrete block bits, to start the basic shape and cover it with concrete to finish the design. With the exclusion of this mold method where you pour the concrete, then it’s best to use the concrete with a slinging action so the concrete sticks to itself best. Lay the stone with a chisel and wire brush when it’s partially hardened but still slightly soft.

Leaching the Lime

Cement includes high levels of lime, which can raise pH in the dirt as rainwater leaches the lime to the ground. In case the cement pond rocks are close to the pond edge, lime could float into the water, increasing the pH to dangerous levels. After curing the rocks for a couple weeks, leach them of excess lime prior to placing them in place around the pond. Leave them out in the rain for a couple of weeks in a gravel area where the lime material will not damage surrounding plants. You can even soak them in water for a couple of weeks. Alternately, mix water with white vinegar and then spray it on the rocks to help neutralize the lime, using approximately 1 cup of vinegar per 1 gallon of water.

Coloring the Rocks

Look carefully at any stone and you will notice they have a strong base colour with layers of different colours as a result of the mineral content from the rock. Concrete is gray or blue-gray, therefore tint it with liquid concrete bleach once you mix the concrete if you prefer a different base colour. Dilute acrylic paint with an equal amount of water to paint the rocks. Dip a paintbrush from the paint mix and shake off the excess. Tap the brush against the side of your finger to flick the paint off the brush, leading to vibrant spatters on the stone. Alternate the spatter method with dabbing the stone with a sponge to get a diverse feel. The stone looks more natural as you layer several colours, like colors of red, blue, green, white, black, brown and white.

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How to Remove Minwax

Minwax is a significant manufacturer of wood finishing products, including wood stains, and also an unpleasant situation in coping with wood stain is finding that the colour imparted by the blot is unsightly. Unlike paint, wood stain penetrates the wood, therefore it is not easily coated. However, it isn’t necessary to sand off the entire surface of wood to eliminate a Minwax stain. Some sanding is essential, but using solvents can minimize the amount of sanding you need to do.

Dip a clean cloth into a container of a proper solvent, such as mineral spirits or paint thinner. Rub the solvent into the timber, using brief circular motions. Continue refreshing the cloth so it is always wet, and if the cloth becomes impregnated with blot, replace it.

Permit the wood to dry for several hours (or overnight, if more convenient) as soon as you believe you’ve removed most of the blot. Look carefully at the wood once it is dry to establish if the majority of the stain is out. If only a faint trace remains, continue to Step 3. Otherwise, repeat Steps 1 and 2.

Sand the wood using a handheld rotary instrument equipped with a 120-grit sanding disc to eliminate the remaining Minwax stain from the timber.

Wipe the grainy, stained sawdust out using a tack cloth

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Materials Needed to Lay Mexican Tile

Mexican vinyl, also referred to as saltillo, is made from red clay. It occasionally has vibrant glazed patterns, but it more commonly the traditional rosy-orange terracotta colour such as a clay pot. Most Mexican tile has a rustic look with significant variations from 1 tile to the next, both in thickness and in how square the tile is. If you’re very lucky, you might find some tiles with a puppy paw print inserted into the clay out of where the tiles were put on the floor to dry. Mexican tile installation resembles the procedure for installing ceramic tiles, however there are a number of very important differences.

Getting Started

When laying Mexican vinyl above a concrete or concrete slab, fill any cracks with concrete patch compound to keep the tile from breaking should the cracks spread over time. Floor tile shouldn’t be installed directly onto timber. If the foundation is timber, screw down a coating of cement plank sheets to prevent cracks that could occur when the wood automatically moves, swells or shrinks under different conditions. A tape measure, a roofing or carpenter’s square and a chalk line are utilized to mark the starting point for laying the tile. First, assess the room from corner to corner diagonally in both directions. If both dimensions are equal, the room is square, meaning that the corners are ideal 90-degree angles. If the dimensions are unequal, which is often true, the area is not square, and perimeter tile cuts will probably be inevitable. Then snap diagonal chalk lines in the very same corners to produce an x, with the center of the x being the center of this room. This is where tile installation should start.

Putting the Tile

A 1/2-inch notched trowel is essential for dispersing the tile adhesive, either thinset or mortar, evenly on the outside to anchor the tile. Concrete slabs and concrete board can wick moisture from the adhesive too fast, causing it to fail. Mist water on the foundation as you use the adhesive to help slow the curing time. Tile spacers can help create even grout lines, although they might not be necessary as a result of tile’s handmade imperfections, but which are a part of its charm. A damp sponge helps eliminate adhesive that contacts the upper surface of the tile. If the tiles aren’t sealed prior to installation, extreme caution is necessary to prevent the mortar or thinset from touching the surface. Once dry, even small amounts can adhere permanently. With a Bachelor’s degree guarantees the tile is resting parallel to the bottom surface. As you approach the borders of the room, a tile scriber and wire or a tile saw cuts the tiles to fit into smaller spaces. A rotary tool with a tile grinding accessory can help smooth rough or irregular cuts. If the flooring is very irregular, look at placing the tiles in a full mortar bed, and it is a thick, even layer of mortar across the full surface. Level the tiles pressing them down until the mortar sets. Use a 4-foot degree to check as you operate. Gloves and goggles protect the eyes and hands when cutting tile. A ruler and pen help make straight cuts.

Implementing the Grout

Prior to grouting, the tiles have to be sealed. Clay is exceptionally absorbent, which makes grout mistakes almost impossible to remove once they have contacted the surface. Purchase sealer especially for Mexican tiles out of a home improvement center. Tile takes at least 24 hours to set securely in the thinset or mortar. Once it’s safe to walk on the ground, mix grout at a container. Sanded grout, that is simply grout with fine sand mixed in, comes in a variety of colors. Sanded grout is required for flooring tiles, so as unsanded grout is weaker. Grout is usually a powder that you mix with water, and also you want a solid stir rod or metal paint mixing tool attached to a power drill to mix it. Eliminate any spacers in the tile with thin pliers and then use the grout into the grout lines with a grout float — a smooth, flat trowel. Drag the border of the grout float at an angle throughout the grout lines to remove excess grout in the tile without bothering the moist cloth, and wipe up any excess with a damp sponge. Soon afterward, a powdery haze will form on the tiles. Buff the tiles using a dry rag to remove the haze as though you were removing car wax.


Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris in the ground first, before verifying that none of these tiles has adhesive or grout residue. If the grout is significantly less than 24 hours old, you can usually remove it by rubbing with a damp sponge. When it’s cured for over 24 hours, then you might require a unique chemical, available in vinyl sections of home improvement centers, to eliminate the mistakes. Once all mistakes are removed along with the grout is treated, seal the entire floor, including the grout, with sealer created for Mexican tile.

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The Way to Remove Scratches Out Of Wood Furniture

Unless you pay your wood furniture with tatted doilies or cloth placemats, daily living triggers scratches and nicks in wooden end tables, coffee tables or additional wood furniture. The deepness of the scratch or nick decides the method needed to remove it from the furniture. Surface scratches on the finish are the quickest to mend, while deeper scratches all around the piece demand an entire removal of the finish to repair the damage.

Shallow Scratches

When just the finish is scratched on a nice piece of wood furniture, however, the color beneath the scratch remains the same, wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove any debris. A bit of clear nail polish dabbed across the scratch can remove the scratch. After it’s dry, lightly sand the treated area to even out the surface with 600-grit sandpaper. Buff the surface with a paste wax to fill out the repair.

Enormous Scratches

A single large scratch across the surface makes the furniture seem, but to restore it to some like-new condition, you have several alternatives. Fill in the scratch with a felt-tip mark matched to the colour of the stain, or dip a cotton-tipped rod into coffee grounds and lightly dab the scratch. A eyebrow pencil in the perfect color or a wax crayon performs exactly the identical trick. When you’re satisfied, apply paste wax to the whole surface to complete the repair.

Scratches That Gouge

When scrapes gouge the wood and leave little hillocks bordering the scratch, level the surface by apply 600-grit sandpaper across the hillocks. When flat, apply a wax rod coloured to match the stain to the raw wood. Color it until it matches with the stain on the wood. Scrape across the surface of the wax with a credit card to remove wax. Insert a coat of paste wax across the repaired area, feathering it over the rest of the surface.

When Nothing Else Works

In case the damage covers the whole surface of the wood, you likely need to strip it, sand it, reapply a stain and finish coating. It all depends on the sort of wood furniture that you have. Wood veneer surfaces don’t take to sanding nicely; you can sand through the veneer entirely since dentures are extremely thin. But on solid wood pieces, apply a paint-stripping merchandise to remove the finish. After stripping, sand with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining pieces of stain. Go on the surface with a light-grit sandpaper to smooth it. Apply the stain and let it dry as recommended on the product tag. Apply polyurethane, varnish or a simple glue wax to provide sheen to the wood’s surface.

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What Type of Wax Is for Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring installed before the 1970s often required wax software to ensure floors were well-protected and retained their glistening appearance. Most contemporary hardwood floors has a protective polyurethane or urethane/acrylic topcoat that provides a layer of protection against damage and wear and tear; floors with these finishes should not be waxed. Make sure wax won’t damage your hardwood floors by choosing something that’s especially formulated for hardwood floors. Sweep, dust and clean your floor surface thoroughly before you wax, or tiny dust and dirt particles will probably get trapped under the freshly waxed surface.

Paste Wax

Pick a paste wax from the local hardware or home products store. The brand doesn’t make much difference so long as it’s specifically made for hardwood floors and works with your floor finish. Hardwood floor wax doesn’t contain silicone, lemon oil, ammonia, bleach, vinegar or tung oil since those ingredients can harm, stain and discolor natural hardwood floors. Apply a small clump of paste wax using a cheesecloth or a white terrycloth rag and rub the compound into the floor. It helps to follow the grain of wood on wooden floor planks as you rub, or utilize a circular movement for square or patterned wood floors. Allow the wax to dry, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Buff the floors by hand using a dry pad, or utilize a dry-pad buffing machine.

Liquid Wax

Elect for a liquid wood floor wax if you don’t desire or need to utilize as much elbow grease. A liquid-wax program is often easier since you don’t have to rub up to invest more of your time dispersing the material evenly through the floor. Do not use a loofah or floor sponge to apply liquid wax. Use terrycloth to guarantee the wax satisfactorily covers all the nooks and crannies in the ground’s surface. Rub in a linear style and follow some other grains. Once the wax has dried buff the floors. Apply another coat and buff if you want a double layer of protection.

Follow Basic Protocol

Never use vinyl or linoleum floor waxes on hardwood floors. Some floor waxes contain potent chemicals that could damage your floors. Avoid abrasives along with other cleaning products which might damage the natural wood features. Floor wax program is a delicate procedure, and that means you need to be sure to adequately wax and buff all regions, including corners of this space, entryways and doorways. Always remove all of the furniture and floor accessories before you start a floor-waxing job and tape off baseboards which have a urethane finish.

Significant Factors

Wax should be used only on wood floors with harmonious finishes. Floors with polyurethane and some other varnish-type finishes should not be waxed, as the wax averts a bond with future coats of finish, precluding the option of screening and recoating the end. Never apply floor wax on raw, natural flooring planks since it is going to stain and discolor the wood. Be sure distressed or stained wood floors have also been correctly finished before you apply floor wax. Consult a local wood flooring dealer or installer/refinisher if you are not sure whether wax can harm your hardwood floors.

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Unclogging a Fabric Softener Dispenser

The fabric softener dispenser in a washing machine provides”set it and forget it” convenience for laundry day, eliminating the need to wait till just the right moment in order to add softener to the wash load. The more the dispenser is used, the greater the chances it will clog. Some of the fabric softener says , even after the rinse cycle, eventually clogging the dispenser because the liquid melts and cakes in place. Cleaning the dispenser makes it useful once more; determined by the machine version, it may be removable or fixed in place.

Cleaning Removable Dispensers

Eliminate the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine by simply pressing a release lever, squeezing tabs or simply lifting it out; the particular method varies by make and model.

Scrub the dispenser under tap water.

Set in a wash or skillet tub. Add enough hot water. Mix in a tbsp or two of liquid laundry soap, swirling it. Allow the dispenser to soak for 10 minutes or so, touching the fabric softener buildup to find out whether it’s loosened. If not, soak the dispenser for a second 20 minutes.

Scrub the dispenser under water to remove the fabric softener. In the event the spout does not rinse away on its own, wipe it. Dry the dispenser with a cloth, then place it back into position in the machine.

Cleaning Unremovable Dispensers

Pour water into the dispenser. Add a couple drops of liquid detergent and allow the solution to sit for 10 to 20 minutes.

Flush the dispenser together with water that is warm. If fabric softener is visible inside the toaster, wash it up with a soft fabric and rinse again.

Run the washing machine through a rinse cycle several times, selecting warm water to the rinse. If warm isn’t a rinse option, pour warm water blended with a splash of laundry detergent into the toaster involving rinses to help loosen the buildup.

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Rust & Iron Removal from a Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system can save a great deal of time if you use it in order to take over the task of watering your lawn and flowerbeds. In a irrigation system, however, their rust and iron residue can build up over time, causing water to leave stains on home, concrete or stone surfaces. It is a problem for a system which runs well water. Fortunately, the buildup can be removed from the irrigation system.

Cleaning the Sprinkler Head

Eliminating and only a few supplies are required by their rust from a sprinkler head. An simple and effective elimination system is to put the sprinkler head into a freezer bag and cover it with a mineral and rust remover. Then remover sits on the sprinkler head for about 30 minutes, use a brass-bristle brush wash the sprinkler head with clear water, then to remove rust and iron residue from the sprinkler head. The sprinkler head is then prepared to be reattached to the sprinkler system.

Neutralizing Water’s Iron

A tank could be attached to a sprinkler system and release each time to a certain chemical the machine is used by you. The iron of the water neutralizes, instead of eliminates it, preventing the water from leaving rust stains. Alternatively, install a filter to display iron from your irrigation system’s water resource.

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Cleaning a Burned Frying Pan

Whether or not a recipe went up in smoke or you forgot about a pot on the stove, you’ve found yourself with a burned frying pan. If neither scrubbing nor a sexy dishwasher can remove the stain, it’s time to cook away the food that is overgrown. More cooking might seem like the final thing that the frying pan wants, but boiling water might help to loosen the burnt material, cut down on the next round of scrubbing and finally salvage your cookware.

Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with enough baking soda to cover the burnt food.

Add 2-3 drops of dishwashing liquid to the baking soda. There is no need to stir.

Fill the pan into the top with water.

Put the pan on the stove, turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil.

Turn the heat down and permit the water to simmer for around 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, then remove the pan from the stove and pour the water out. Run warm water over the pan till it is warm but not too hot.

Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with baking soda again and bathe it with a mesh or abrasive sponge. Rinse and repeat until all or most of the stain will be gone.

Pour 1 inch of white distilled vinegar to the bottom of the pan if the stain does not come off completely. Fill it the rest of the way with water and then repeat the boiling and boiling process.

Repeat Steps 7 and 6 if required to take out the rest of the burned material from the bottom of the pan.

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