Natural Curtain Company Blog

Eating outdoors

On July 27th, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Energy Saving,Summer,Table cloths,Tips and Hints,Useful Resources.

For one week of the year it’s warm enough in England to walk around without a jacket in the evening, so it’s important we take advantage of it. These beautiful summer evenings are perfect for eating outdoors and soaking up the English weather, so here are a few handy ideas on how to make the most of your outdoor space and enjoy some summer dining.

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Urban jungle

This gorgeous home in Antwerp uses a converted conservatory as an outdoor eating area. The wild, jungle-like plants add an exotic feel to the space, and it’s a cool place to sit out on a hot summer’s day. Perfect for an early morning breakfast or brunch.

urban jungle

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Modern

I love this big, chunky wooden table and the monochrome decor. It gives this setting a contemporary look and would be the perfect place to relax on a warm evening. It’s always a good idea to ensure there’s shade near your eating area, so under a tree is ideal.

modern

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Rustic

This is a simple idea that works really well if you have a lot of space in your garden. A big, rustic farmers table is in vogue this year, and the great thing is they can fit loads of family and friends around it. The rustic look means you don’t have to worry about place mats or coasters as a stain on the table works with the wood.

rustic

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Back to nature

If you don’t have much outdoor space, why not have a romantic meal in a nearby park or forest? You could drive down with a fold up table and eat there. I like the use of an old sheet for shade, and the cluttered tables and chairs are adorable.

nature table

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Inspiration post: Water features

On July 22nd, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Fun Stuff,Industry News,Interiors and Ideas,Tips and Hints.

As the heatwave gathers pace in the UK, there’s nothing more relaxing or refreshing than a cool garden to spend a hot day. A fountain or water feature is a great way of accessorising your garden and adding character to an otherwise neutral space.

Here’s a post that might encourage you to get some water in your garden, and it doesn’t need to blow the bank.

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Garden river

This is a gorgeous feature that adds an instant serving of exotic to this garden. It looks clean enough to take a dip on a hot summer’s day, and will look beautiful at night with some feature lighting.

river garden

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Water farm

The corrugated iron of the tank perfectly complements the cute windmills, making sure this feature doesn’t look too kitsch. It’s also a super cheap alternative to a pond and will suit a wild, unkempt garden beautifully.

Water farm

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Plant pot

There’s no need to transform your entire garden into a watering hole. You can just fill a big plant pot with water and put it on decking or patio to add a cool, summer feature. Just add some floating plants for a mini-pond effect.

Plant pot

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Landscaping

If you’re looking to renovate your garden, this beautiful water feature will need the help of a landscaper. It reminds me of an oriental garden, with straight lines and a strong sense of calm. The big, open leaved plants help with this too, and I love the bench at the bottom of the garden where you can enjoy the view.

landscaping

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Accessory of the week: Front doors

On July 14th, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Fun Stuff,Interiors and Ideas,Summer,Upcycling,Useful Resources,Vintage.

The front door to your home says a lot about what your house is like on the inside. It’s the first thing guests see when they come over, and it’s something that passersby can admire too.

It’s easy to stick to the obvious navy blues and dark greys for a front door. This post will help inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to your entrance, and I bet your neighbours will be stealing your ideas in no time!

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Cute and blue

This bright blue front door in Blakeney, Norfolk is the epitome of cute. The gorgeous sign saying ‘art gallery’ adds a touch of DIY charm to it (even if it isn’t an art gallery), and I especially love the three little pots lined up for decoration. Fill these with daffodils in spring and it’ll look like heaven!

Blue door

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Shutters

This is a gorgeous colour for a front door – it reminds me of sunshine and summer and would make a lovely welcome home after a long day. The grey shutters on either side add some slick sophistication to the house, grounding the bright yellow colour and making it work from spring through to winter.

shutters

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Unique

In all fairness, this is the front door to a house in Kenya so might not translate well to living in South West London. However it’s an incredible idea, and might even work for a back door if you’re looking to do something a little different. I’m not sure how it locks up at night but I adore the concept.

kena

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Nautical

This is a fantastic look as it’s a traditional front door with a twist. There are countless navy blue doors on my street but none with nautical stripes. It’s such a simple idea but I can guarantee there’ll be no one else near you doing it! Add some mulberry bushes for extra elegance.

nautical

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5 ways to rock ombre

On July 8th, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Bathrooms,Blackout Curtains / Blinds,Blinds,Colour schemes,Curtain Accessories.

Ombre never goes out of style. It’s cool, on-trend and most importantly it screams summer. Here are a few great ways of transforming your home with a few simple strokes of a paint brush and a dab of ‘can-do’ attitude.

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1. Whitewashed authentic

There’s a common misconception when painting a wall ombre that it needs to be a seamless change of hue throughout. That’s not so, and this haphazard, authentic look gives the room a bohemian vibe. Splash a bit of water on the wall to get an uneven look.

Ombre walls

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2. Accessorise

I adore how these bottles blend in with the ombre wall. Have a look on Etsy for coloured bottles. They come in any colour so will match your walls whatever you choose.

accessorise

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3. Ceiling

Think outside the box and start your dip-dye from the ceiling down. It’s a way more subtle way of decorating your walls and looks super sleek too. Go for a  light colour so it doesn’t make your room look smaller.

yellow ombre

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4. Peachy

This isn’t necessarily ground-breaking, but I had to share this look as I think it’s the most gorgeous shade of peach. Having the ombre go only slightly up the wall makes the ceilings look higher, and the light, matching furniture makes the room look bright and breezy.

workspace

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5. Curtains

There’s no need to just stick to walls, why not dip-dye your curtains? The Natural Curtain Company have some gorgeous ready made white curtains that you can dye at home. It’s a great way of rocking the ombre look without committing too much by painting your walls.

Curtains

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Accessory of the week: picture frames

On July 3rd, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Colour schemes,Curtain Accessories,Fun Stuff,Interiors and Ideas,Tips and Hints,Upcycling,Useful Resources,Vintage.

Why not let the frame take centre stage for once? Here are a few bright ideas on how to use every day objects as picture frames. It’s cheap, easy and looks better than anything you can find in Ikea…

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Fishing rod

I love this idea as I’ve never seen it before – grab the fishing rod you only use once a decade and hang pictures off it. It will be a fantastic talking point amongst guests and finally gives you somewhere convenient to store it.

Fishing rod

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Clothes line

If you’ve got an old wooden picture frame knocking about, hang a clothes line across and attach your favourite photos with pegs. It’s a great way of decorating your room and means you can clear your draws of all those old photos.

Clothes line

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Upcycle

This picture frame was made from some wood found in an old barn. It’s a great piece of DIY and the white-washed, chipped paint makes it look authentic and totally original. Hang your favourite pictures up in your hallway or kitchen to give your space a vintage twist.

old wood frame

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Jewellery holder

A genius idea, putting a metal grill into a disused picture frame makes it the ideal place to hang your earrings. Just mount it on the wall by your mirror and you’ve got a gorgeous addition to your room and you won’t lose any more jewellery. If you don’t have a metal grill, you could always buy a strip of lace and use that instead.

Jewellery holder

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Pulling off purple

On June 23rd, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Colour schemes,Curtains,Interiors and Ideas.

Purple is in again, and the colour of the season isn’t easy to pull off. You don’t need to live in Buckingham Palace to be able to integrate it into your home. From lilac to mauve, purple is a versatile colour and will suit any interior, you just need to go about it cleverly. This post is dedicated to a misunderstood colour, and will show you how to pull off purple.

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Add some texture

Start with accessories. Purple looks incredible with grey, and to add a real kick to your decor, add some textured accessories. Sequins, scales and a bit of sparkle will never go amiss and will stop your room looking flat and tired. It’s incredible what a spot of suede can do!

Textured purple

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Light with lilac

Purple doesn’t need to be dark and gloomy. Lilac is a gorgeous colour and isn’t loud enough to take over a whole room. You can accessorise using bed linen or even a beautiful chair like the one below. The vintage, light chest of drawers adds a vintage vibe that looks fantastic with a tropical plant in the corner.

Lilac chair

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Feature wall

Painting just one wall is a sure-fire way of grabbing the attention of guests and bringing a welcome splash of colour to your space. The trick is to make sure it’s not too dark, so you can maintain a summery atmosphere. The dark leather chair compliments the decor really well. Always accessorise light purple with darker hues.

Wooden feature wall

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Deep purple

If you don’t want to commit to changing your entire room, why not change just the curtains? These gorgeous silk curtains from The Natural Curtain Company are a striking colour but the light fabric means they don’t seem too heavy. Make sure to get blackout lining with this fabric so it doesn’t fade in the sun.

Silk curtains

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Inspiration post: sheds

On June 16th, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Colour schemes,Energy Saving,Fun Stuff,Making your Own Curtains and Blinds,Tips and Hints,Upcycling,Useful Resources.

 Spending time in your garden is always a priority in summer, and having some seriously good storage in the form of a shed is a big relief on hot days. Having a place to store deck chairs or a ping pong table is super useful. Here are a few ideas if you’re looking to invest in a new shed or planning on re-vamping your current one.

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Quaint

This one is so quaint. I love the fact that you can paint it bright colours, and although this does look almost new you can always renovate an old shed by putting in a new door and painting it whatever colour takes your fancy. Add some hanging pots and a little decking and this is the perfect place to chill out on a summer’s day.

Green shed

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Upcycling

If you don’t have enough room for a shed, why not re-use an old chest of drawers or cabinet to use as a quirky outdoor feature? You can decorate it with potted flowers and watering cans, and use the draws to store your gardening tools.

Garden shed

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Seating area

If you’ve got a bigger budget this year, invest in a place you can really relax in. These gorgeous sofa cushions can be stored in the lovely converted shed during the winter, and you won’t regret the expense once all of your friends want to hang out at your house all the time. It’s worth it to have a place to really relax during the hot months.

Decking shed

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Converted garage

If you’ve got an old garage knocking around, make the decision to really utilise it and convert it into a shed. You can store your car and your gardening gear, and make the front of your house a place to chillax too. If you’re short on storage, use the garage doors as a place to hang things.

Converted garage

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Accessory of the Week: Distressed Walls

On June 9th, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Bookshelves,Fun Stuff,Interiors and Ideas,Tips and Hints,Upcycling,Useful Resources,Vintage.

After spending some time in Albania (I know), I’ve been looking at distressed walls in a whole new light. Before I thought they were limited to warehouses in Shoreditch, but now I’ve seen walls that genuinely are in distress, I quite like the look. There’s loads of different ways it can go, and revealing the brick or stripping off some paint definitely adds some ‘cool’ factor to your home.

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Brick

This looks great. The clean lines of the furniture compliments the chaotic walls, and the masculine lamps will be perfect for a bachelor pad. The white animal rug completes the look perfectly.

Distressed brick

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 Wallpaper

Is there a crack on your ceiling that’s getting on your nerves? Why not just leave it there, and pick at it with a tiny axe. Because that’s what these guys have done and it looks damn good. Get a bit of sandpaper on your old wallpaper and your walls will look distressed in no time.

Distressed wallpaper

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 Brick and paint

Mix up brick and paint for the ultimate distressed look. Either paint over your exposed walls or expose your walls under the paint, either way it looks great. I love the low hanging lamps and industrial stools, giving the room a raw but welcoming feel.

Brick and paint

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 Ceiling

There’s not need to stick to boring old walls when your distressing up your home – why not give it a go on the ceiling? That way if it looks ridiculous not as many people will notice so quickly.

wooden distresssed ceiling

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Inspiration post: Fruit

On June 2nd, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Bathrooms,Blinds,Bookshelves,Fun Stuff,Industry News,Interiors and Ideas,Tips and Hints.

Fruity colours are in this season, and with summer at our doorstep there’s no better way of brightening up your home than with a fresh, fruity new look. From accessorising to painting the entire room, these colours are guaranteed to breathe fresh life into your house just in time for the sun.

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Peach

Peach is a very calming colour and is a great idea if you’re looking to freshen up your bedroom. It goes well with any decor as it’s almost neutral, yet will add a welcome splash of colour.

Peach room

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Tangerine

Orange can be a hard number to rock, but a tangerine accessory is a great way of adding it in to your decor without committing too much. This gorgeous tangerine wicker side table will be a totally unique addition to your space.

Tangerine table

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Apricot

The fruity tones of this colour are light and airy. You can paint your walls, a bookcase or you could just buy some lovely apricot bedsheets to change the feel of your room. Either way, this is the colour of the season and goes with everything.

Apricot wall

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 Avocado

Avocado is one of my favourite colours – it screams ’70s retro and is bang on trend this year. It’s a great way of adding colour to an otherwise grey room, and looks great in a kitchen or bathroom. Add some vintage tiles to complete the look.

Avocado room

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Freshen up your guest room

On May 27th, 2014 Alice wrote on the subject of Choosing your Curtains or Roman Blinds,Colour schemes,Curtain Accessories,Curtains,Cushions and Throws,Fabrics,Fun Stuff.

As summer approaches you might start getting phone calls from old friends who live in faraway lands wanting to come and visit for a day or five, most likely with their screaming children. Now is a good time to think about freshening up the spare room, and here’s a few quick and easy ways to go about it.

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Statement wall

I’ve seen this look a couple of times recently, and it’s so stylish yet simple. Just find some wallpaper with big, graphic prints or over-sized florals and cut around to make a statement wall piece. This is perfect if you’ve got some old wallpaper lying about or the end of a roll that you didn’t finish.

Statement wall

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Lighting

Updating your lighting can be a little more time-consuming, but it’s always worth it. Low-hanging bedroom lights are in this season, and make for a really cool, New York loft vibe that will add atmosphere to any room in the house.

Bedroom lights

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Curtains

Nothing says ‘summer’ better than adding some sheer curtains to a room, as they let all the light in and make the entire space feel bigger. To ensure your guests get a good night’s sleep, get a blackout blind for underneath. That way your guests can sleep in and let the sunlight in whenever they please.

Sheer curtains

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Cushions

My favourite accessory for the home is and probably always will be a scatter cushion. A few bright, patterned scatter cushions can transform a room from boring to awesome in no time, and they aren’t very expensive. These lovely graphic cushions will freshen up a guest bed in no time, and add a bit of character so your guests can feel at home.

Scatter cushions

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