Friday, 10 May 2013

At Home with Scandinavian Style

Not sure about you but I have fallen in love with Scandi Style interiors.  Especially when it has that all too gorgeous mid-century touch. As we experience a Fifties Revival (seen the furniture at John Lewis lately?) it seems that we can’t get enough of the Northern European Chic.

Why is Scandi Style so appealing? I hear you ask. In my humble opinion, it’s the fact that Scandinavian Designs are meant to be functional, practical and yet beautiful with gorgeous clean lined shapes. Many Scandi products feel very ‘nature inspired’ as they combine great design with the use of natural materials like sheepskin, wool, leather, felt and of course wood!

Ok, ok I am a fan of Orla Kiely prints too, of course! But Nordic prints take that style a step further and make it look fresh, modern and up to date.  If, like me, you are a fan of this style too, here are a few key points to remember:

Textiles: use abstract prints, natural linens and nature graphics.

Ceramics: look for modern, symmetrical shapes, fluid lines.

Lighting: I like their sculptured, futuristic pieces that make a real statement. Cloudberry Living, Design Home Stockholm and Rume have great selections!

Wooden Flooring: blond, white flooring with a grain and perhaps a high sheen fits the bill perfectly. I have Kahrs flooring, they also do beech, birch, ash and pine.

Furniture: look out for ergonomic and functional pieces with clean lines – especially if they were inspired by iconic designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J Wegner and Alvar Aalto.
Colour: keep to a cool palette with chalky finishes. Greys, steely blues and cool-toned whites go well as a base colour. Accent and interest can be created using splashes of bright retro colour in accessories and fabric

      Home of bambu    Scandi Blinds  
How about the budget?  To make it easier on the all too precious purse, you can mix your own ‘old and new’ furniture and you are already half way there!

Any questions? Comments? Email me on or visit our online shop

Paula Trovalusci

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Spotlight on Metal Poles

When it comes to choosing the right curtain pole, the choice can be so over whelming we often don’t know where to begin! If you feel the same consider these:

Metal Poles:   these continue to be the most popular options for those looking for a contemporary look.  Be it polished chrome, brushed chrome or black nickel, metal curtain poles have never been more popular.   They are durable, stylish, modern and a perfect complement to eyelet curtains.  For those seeking something truly special it is even possible to have your curtain pole wrapped up in your own choice of wallpaper for that unique, seamless look
Having navigated through the sea of pole styles, diameters and lengths it’s time to choose your finials.  There is an array of beautiful finials on the market ranging from the most minimalistic Endcaps to the colour coordinated glass designs. We love Walcot House Coloured Glass Finials. Whilst the Swish Mix & Match Collection offers a more affordable choice including colour, leather, wood and glass.

Although thinking of brackets is rather less exciting, it needs to be done.  It’s important to choose brackets that will match the style of your pole and fabric of your choice.  However, the brackets need to be substantial enough to ensure they adequately support the weight of your curtains.   

Since bracket projections can vary be sure of your measurements too! Small brackets works fine with pencil pleat curtains but may not be deep enough for eyelets.

Still unsure? Have a question? Check out our website or call us on 020 8439 7977.  We are here to help.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

How to paint a door!

Hello again!

It's been ages since I last wrote but since Decorex, Focus 12, 100% Design etc, I felt it was time to catch up with you!

Can you believe I'm thinking about Christmas already? Yep, I hate gardening in the cold so I figured if i tackle the front garden now, spruce up the entrance and paint the front door it's a nice beginning already.

Then it hit me! What's the best way to paint my front door? What colour? I'm in love with vibrant blues and this is the photo that inspired me to carry out my front door make over!

I admit, I like it because I'm a sucker for pink flower, I'm a girl, what can I say? Would it be too much to carry it through inside the house too, I wonder? Others have managed!

Well then, how do you paint a door?Here's how!

1. Protect: cover the floor, remove all door knobs and handles and mask off where the door frame meets the wall; Lightly sand new wood and apply knotting solution followed by primer. Doors that have been painted before (like mine) can be sanded and sugar soaped; Wipe down with a lint-free cloth dampened with white spirit to remove dirt.

2. Prepare: apply a layers of undercoat with a 50mm brush to preen tit absorbing too much of the paint. When dry, lightly sand and wipe down as before.

3. Flat Focus: to paint a flat door, select a flat brush adn work in small sections from the left-hand corner across adn down, overlapping by a thrid to avoid misses. Flollow the grain of the door and never overload the paintbrush.

4. Panel Focus: for panelled doors start with the panels first, working from the inside outwards, then change to a 50mm angled brush for the mouldings. Paint the flat areas with the flat brush, starting with the inner verticals, then the horizontals and lastly the two long outer verticals.

5. Touch Up: Lastly, paint the doorframe with the smaller angled brush. Standard oil-based paint needs 24hrs to dry before a second coat can be applied. Don't forget to clean your brushes when you finish!

Once all's done, open a bottle of wine and relax!!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Making a statement on a featureless wall

Want to add a feature to your room but find wallpapering too permanent? Try adding a series of  your favourite pictures or photos.

Create a sense of unity by using similar frames, styles or colours. Work out the best arrangement by laying them on the floor first so you can play around with the different shapes and framing combinations.


Monday, 7 May 2012

Adding a smart nautical touch to your interior design scheme

The summer nearly is here and we all want to bring that nautical feeling into our homes, but how do we make it work?  You can get started by mixing blues and white stripes with wicker baskets, warm brass and distressed leather for a shipshape space.  You could try some of these ideas...

IDEA 1: Hang a vertically striped Roman Blind against white or off white walls.  This will accentuate the height of the ceiling and contrast with the walls and woodwork.  Choose a fabric that has muted tones of blues and creams.  This will give you a more nautical feeling rather than a deckchair style.  I rather like Clarke & Clarke's Maritime collection, like this one...

Clarke & Clarke Maritime

IDEA 2: Add a statement floor lamp in the corner for target lightling.  With its tripod base, this striking tripod floor lamp resembles a telescope, making it perfect for a seaside-style.  These are often found in charity shops!  Go on, try bargain hunting for something similar!

IDEA 3:  Finally, how about putting together a personal display of your own by grouping prints, paintings and photos in a collection of mismatched frames?  This can be easily done instead of wallpapering to create a feature wall above the chest of drawers or fireplace making it a unique and personal display. 

Like what you see and what to buy the look?  I recommend you try these:

I hope you have found this article helpful and would love to hear from you!

Paula Trovalusci,

For more information on home styling and interior designing your home please visit our website or contact us directly on  We would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Practicality of Lined and Interlined Curtains

It is a well known fact that Lined and Interlined Soft Furnishings can appear more substantial, more luxurious and altogether more stylish.

Lining will protect the main fabric and improve the drape of curtains. The first defence against sunlight, fading and dirt is a good quality, smooth, sateen-woven lining. On sunny windows, for example, is worth getting sun-resistant lining. Although this won’t stop the fading process it will considerably delay the sun damage.

If you are a perfectionist like me and don’t like to see creased fabric, look into crease-resistant linings. It’s gorgeous and it will save you lots of time if you are making the curtains yourself!

Interlining your curtains & blinds will make them hang beautifully and give it that extra special look. Interlining is a blanket-type fabric which is sandwiched between the lining and the main fabric. Curtains can be lined with medium or heavyweight interlinings depending on how thick you want the curtains to look. Traditional interlinings are cotton but synthetic ones are also available (they don’t shed fluff). Whichever one you choose, always buy a pre-shrunk one.
When your Curtains & Blinds are in need of a little cleaning, remember that lined and interlined window treatments are best steam cleaned in situ as they hang. There are a number of reputable companies providing this service, it may cost a little more but you can be sure mistakes won’t occur in the cleaning process.
As the cold months approach, it is important to draw your curtains at night time. This will prevent heat loss and if you have lined and interlined soft furnishings it might save you a few pennies on the heating bill too!

If you like this post or would like me to cover a specific topic, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

How to dress Bay Windows - Part 4


Indoor shutters are one form of window treatment that is quickly gaining popularity, making a wonderful alternative (or a perfect match) to curtains on bay windows accentuating quality and style.  Shutters have such a dramatic impact and it’s important to choose the right style, design, and colour

Using shutters allows you to control the ambiance and overall mood of the room by the way they filter, block or let in the light of hte outdoors.  They also provide privacy, whilst allowing circulation and ventilation.  Interior shutters offer a traditional look and can fit in with just about any home decor scheme from contemporary to country and elegant to Mediterranean.

The following companies offer great service and a wonderful range of tailor-made shutter solutions well worth looking into.

Of course we would always suggest you pair your shutters with dress curtains for a softer, cosier look!

For more information on window treatments such as blinds, curtains or any other soft furnishing product please visit our website on or email us directly on

Thursday, 16 June 2011

How to Dress Bay Windows - Part 3

Full Length Curtains:
There is nothing quite like a full-length pair of curtains. They look elegant, give visual height and even bring warmth to a room.

In their most basic form, curtains are gathered or made of pleated panels of fabric hanging from tracks or poles for privacy as well as insulation against noise and draught.

Give it a little more thought and what you will have is an opportunity to bring texture and pattern into a room. At night, curtains will make the room feel cosier and inviting.

We tend to think of curtains in pairs, but in the case of bay windows, you can make the most of its shape by hanging 4 curtains to create a sophisticated focal point and dress this otherwise awkward space.

Lots of factors need to be considered to make sure you get the best looking curtains for your bay. If the windows are large and sunny, choose a ‘Light Resistant’ lining as it will help your fabric last better and retain the colour for longer. Cooler rooms might benefit from a substantial interlining, as this will act as an insulating barrier.

To add a little ‘wow’ factor and drama try using either vertical or horizontal borders. For a softer approach you can use a leading edge in a suitable trimming – there are some great trimmings on the market i.e. bobbles, beadings even feathers!

For a more formal look you can hang the tie backs high up, of course, allowing the curtains to be drawn in a more swag like style.

The most important thing, however, is to embrace the shape of your bay window, celebrate its beauty and love the home you live in.

Coming up in Part 4 - Dressing Bay Windows with Venetian Blinds.  If you would like more information go to

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Five Great Reasons to Choose Roman Blinds

1. Price: Buying a bespoke, high quality Roman Blinds will cost much less than a high quality pair of curtains. With Roman Blinds there is no need for curtain poles and it uses much less fabric thus keeping the overall cost down.

2. Easy to install: Measuring for Roman blinds is much simpler than measuring up for curtains (no stack back, overlap or overhung to consider). The process of hanging Roman blinds is also easier than it seems. There are even tutorials online! Whether using a traditional fabric covered baton or an aluminum head rail hanging a Roman Blind is very straight forward and due to its size Roman Blinds are also easier to handle.

3. Selection: Roman Blinds can be made in a wide range of colours, materials and styles. Every combination gives a different vibe to your room. The correct lining is also paramount as it will affect the overall colour of your fabric and the amount of light in the room. There is plenty of lining and interlining to choose from like blackout, fade resistant lining, and coloured lining.

4. Maintenance: Roman blinds can be cleaned using the soft furnishing attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Moreover, they fold up neatly and can be pulled out of reach of children and pets, meaning they’re less likely to be broken.

5. Style: Roman Blinds offer a neat, stylist and understated alternative to curtains working well in both traditional as well as a more modern setting. In a more traditional setting it can be coupled with a coordinating pelmet or traditional full length curtains as below.


Sunday, 31 October 2010

I never shy away from colour....

... So I decided to buy a Red High Gloss Kitchen!!! The photo below is from as my own kitchen will be way less spacious!  But I'll make damn sure it will be just as glamourous!

Now i'm on a mission to get it all done by Christmas!  Oh, my God is it really only 6 weeks away?

Any suggestions, please shout!

So far I've decided on the cooker, hood and double oven (built under) all from this company provides excellent value for money, stylish Italian appliances and do not compromise on quality or looks.

But i am stuck on the splashback, i'm hoping for something wacky that will infuse character in my kitchen, what do you think of these lot:

Black with Red Poppy

Black & White Designs 

Well, I guess I'll just have to keep looking.


''We love working with Paula who has made beautiful curtains and blinds for every room in our house. She always knows which colours and styles will work for different sizes and shapes of windows, and we have been thrilled with the results. Out kitchen curtains and blinds are especially wonderful and much complimented by visitors'' by Mrs. D. Goodman, East Molesey

''I've renovated many houses and Curtain Lab are by far the best suppliers and fitters of curtains and blinds I have experienced. Paula's professionalism is evident not just in her range of fabrics, but the expertise she brings to making them. She has an artist's eye and her advice is golden. I simply wouldn't consider going anywhere else'' By Mr. R. Godwin, Kingston

''Paula has worked for us for a couple of years now, she's done an amazing job. Always very professional, she helped us bring beauty and simplicity into our house. We are thrilled with her hardwork and commitment, we would recommend her always'' by Mr and Mrs Lopez, Esher

''When we were refurbishing our buy-to-let flat Curtain Lab was great. They helped us turn a cold, old place into a very stylish, modern apartment. Paula and her team are second to none'' by Mrs. J. Turner, Richmond

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I've gone Barking Mad

I was asked to make a Blackout Roman Blind with a bobble trimming for a little princess who's crazy about her puppies.

The room is lovely and we couldn't resist using the left over fabric to make a Memory Board as well as a Scottie Dog Doorstopper.

How sweet!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A window of opportunity?

Since making angled curtains for a beautiful loft room last year, a lot of people have been contacting me about ideas for other 'awkward' spaces.

Here're some of my favourite challenging windows so far:

Loft Windows that allow light in but do not take the shape of the window away:

What to do with an arch window?  Curtains will do fine!

Another clever solution.  The ecclectic mix of shutters, roman blinds and a shaped pelmet.

How would you dress these windows?

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Dining Room with a view

I have been working with Mr and Mrs G for a couple of years now, they own a lovely house with a large kitchen and dining area that makes up the hub of the home.

It was rather difficult to dress their newly installed concertina doors.  However, the obvious choice was a Silent Gliss Metropole coupled with Tempo Tape heading for the curtains.  Adding a vertical border to the curtains (in the same fabric as the existing Roman Blinds) allowed us to encompass the existing soft furnishings.  The tie backs in muted beige finish off beautifully.

Another happy client!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Parkertex at its best

Today I finally got to photograph a job I finished earlier on in the year. The project was simple, just a pair of full-length, blackout lined, double pleated curtains.

The result was, as always, stunning! The curtains totally finished the room and made it cosy, enriched but still full of simplicity. I loved the fabric so much that I couldn't resist and made a door stopper to match...

... Love the home you live in...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Major Mission Accomplished

The challenge:  to dress french doors measuring over 3 metres wide, allow plenty of light in the room and not lose space with projecting brackets.

The solution: a full-length, full-width pair of lined and interlined curtains using deep pencil pleat tape hanging from a made-to-measure Silent Gliss Metropole Curtain System in Oak thus allowing side clearance and plenty of room for curtain stack back.

The result: a pair of beautifully, lined and interlined curtains in Romo Fabric. No need to say any more, just look at these photos and fall in love with this room.

Ruby Red Love

Bella's room was a delight to work with.  The chimney breast took centre stage and was coupled with Jane Churchill Roman Blinds with a Silk border at the bottom - Bella chose the fabric herself when she was only eight - she'll be giving me a run for my money soon!

The coordinating bedlinen and cushions, together with Nadine Morgan's decoupage mirror add the 'je ne sais quoi' to the scheme and the result is a lovely, stylish and versatile room.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Another Happy Customer...

... Catherine's Roman Blinds are finally ready and hanging beautifully!  And the matching, piped cushions are on their way.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Curtain Lab featuring in The Home Show, Channel 4

I have been making Bespoke Soft Furnishings for over 7 years now. During this time I accumulated a wealth of experience and was lucky enough to make good friends along the way.

One of my latest achievements was getting involved with programmes such as The Home Show with George Clarke (it kept me at the edge of my seat with excitement when it aired in November).
It made my long hours working to achieve my City&Guilds in Soft Furnishings very worthwhile.

Here's a link to my website, let me know what you think,

Have you any questions about window treatments, just let me know. I'll try and answer it for you!