Sunday, April 24, 2016

How to Select Window Treatments

If you've just moved into a new home, or you are looking to redecorate a room in your current home, chances are you're in need of new window treatments. Finding the best window treatment for a space can be a daunting task for many homeowners, but with a few simple considerations, this process can be fun!

Recognizing your needs as a home owner is the first step to determining the best type of window treatment for you and your space.

Who will be using the room?

If you have young children or pets, you'll probably want to select a window covering with less maintenance. Crawlers and toddlers love to pull and twist floor length fabric panel drapes. it can be difficult to monitor young children around drapes constantly. With pets, depending on species and energy level, you'll have to make sure you select a drapery style that can't be damaged by tugging or clawing. Again, something that doesn't reach the ground may be ideal. A valance or roman shade is a great option for an active family with young children or pets!

How much privacy do you need?

Obviously privacy is a large factor to consider when selecting window treatments. If your windows are facing the street or a neighbors house, you'll want to make sure you not only select a window treatment that can completely cover the window, but also a fabric that is well lined. A simple valance won't provide you with much privacy, so on these windows you'll want to look into your options with roman shades or drapery panels.

What kind of lighting do you need?

Do you work nights and sleep during the day? Do you have a toddler who takes mid-day naps? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then a shade or drapery panel with blackout lining would probably be very beneficial to you!

On the other hand, if you're trying to let in as much natural light as possible during the day, you'll want to make sure you select a window treatment that can be pulled up (roman shades), or that doesn't cover the window (valance). You'll also want to make sure to avoid drapery with heavy lining, and you should consider a sheer or lighter weight material.

What style is your space?

It's no surprise that the style of your space will have an impact on your drapery selection. However, many window treatment options can work with different design styles. For example, a floor length drapery panel can be made modern or traditional by the type of fabric used, or the way it's hung. Understanding the style of your space before selecting window treatments will make your decision much easier.

What fabric will you use?

Often finding the perfect fabric can dictate the style of curtain you go with. Something with a strong linear pattern may look more dramatic and eye catching in a floor length drape, where something with a bold geometric pattern can bring life to an otherwise simple roman shade.

With these considerations in mind, finding the perfect window treatment for your space doesn't need to be overwhelming!

Check out all of the window treatment options we have available on Etsy! The Window Treatments by Melissa team is always happy to help. Please contact us with any questions or to make an order.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

And Cushions Too

When I moved across country, my mother was kind enough to give me a chair I'd always loved from my childhood home. And much like the velveteen rabbit, this chair continued to be loved by me, and my children... and our cat (...unfortunately our cat loved to play with it instead of sitting nicely in it), and our love wore that beautiful chair down. 

As you can see- this chair reached a point where it was beyond use. I was devastated to see it go, as it had become like another member of our family. 

Fortunately, one of our team members - Kelly - is a reupholstery wizard! Kelly joined our team in 2015. Previously she'd worked for a company that provided furniture for high end stores like Ethan Allan and Calico Corners for sixteen years. 

I worked with Kelly to determine what type of material may work best for my chair based on how my family uses it. She made some suggestions and I selected a silver floral upholstery weight fabric to have it recovered in. 

I sent my chair to her so she could work her magic, and she created a beautiful piece of furniture out of a mess. We now keep our beloved chair in my daughters room where it receives the TLC it has always deserved. 

Kelly has been an incredible addition to our team. She creates beautiful pieces for Window Treatments by Melissa, including window seat and bench cushions, pillow covers and shams, and even custom bed skirts! Our customers love Kelly too! Here is what some of our customers have to say about Kelly's work:

Vanessa: "Beautifully done! I needed something special, so I was worried my hopes would get lost in translation...but, no way! The sizing is perfect, and the final product is first-class professional."

Cyndy: "I feel this item is exactly as was described. I love this cushion! It is the perfect addition to the window seat in my spare room."

If you're in the market for a new bench cushion here are some things you should know about:
  • You can get your cushion in any thickness. Window Treatments by Melissa typically recommends a three inch thickness if you are unsure of what you want. We use a high density firm foam for seat cushions and a softer foam for cushion backs on benches or chairs.
  • Fabric for our window seat cushions should be AT LEAST a medium weight home decor fabric. We recommend staying with cottons and canvas's or "outdoor" type fabrics. We can work with linen, but we don't recommend it. 
  • The closures we offer on our cushions are zipper and velcro. We also have upgrade options like adding piping to the top and/or bottom of your cushion. Piping can be in the same fabric as your cushion, or in a solid accent color. We can also add ties if you are making these for dining table chairs or want to secure your cushion to a piece of furniture! 
  • We make cushions for:
    • window seats
    • nook benches
    • dining table chairs (our cushions can be made to a custom shape and fit for your chair)
    • outdoor furniture
    • dog beds
    • day beds
    • porch swings 

And many more! As these are all custom made, we can consider any project you may have!

   Window Seat Cushion by Windows By Melissa   

Be sure to check out our cushion listings on Etsy to see some of the cushion projects we've done, and to to be inspired! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Textiles by Melissa and Fabric Clearance Sale

Window Treatments by Melissa is excited to announce our own textiles line: Textiles by Melissa, launching in late Spring/early Summer of this year. In anticipation of this, we are having a clearance sale on our current in stock fabrics which can be viewed here. Please check them out and contact me there with any questions. If you see anything you like in our fabric by the yard section on etsy that you would like to use for window treatments, pillow covers or seat cushions, we will be happy to accommodate your request and include the fabric in your order for $1.00 a yard regardless of clearance price. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to you from the WTbM team. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday with your families and loved ones. We appreciate you all and would like to invite you to take advantage of our sale this weekend for buy two items get one free. The terms are listed below. I look forward to hearing from many of you and working with you to create something beautiful for your home.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday Terms and Conditions
Buy two items get one free.

A set of two curtains counts as a single item. The free item must be equal to or less expensive than the least expensive purchased item.
Applies to items purchased on Friday Nov 27, 2015 at 12:01 am ET through Monday Nov 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET. Items not purchased by 11:59 pm ET will not qualify for the sale price.
Items included in the sale: All roman shade style under 52 inches wide; all valance styles; envelope closure or zipper closure pillow covers without additional accents added; basic rod pocket, flat panel or hidden tab curtains; and all clearance items.
Limit THREE free items per transaction for a total of NINE items.
Window Treatments by Melissa will provide all the materials for the construction of the items except the fabric. Fabrics provided by clients must be at least 54” wide and a home d├ęcor weight fabric. Client does not need to provide fabric for in stock pillow covers or clearance items.
All general policies of WTbM apply.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Updated the Clearance Section

Hello, everyone. Long time no see. We've been busy here at WTbM. One thing we have done is to update our Clearance Section in the etsy store. It only took me a thousand years.  . .  We have hired a lot of people and I have had them making several practice shades. I have put those up for purchase at a discounted rate. They are all to standard. I haven't put up anything that isn't to our standards that may have been made in practice. We also have lots of pillow covers and table runners and place mats.

Here are some items you can find there.  Click here to go to the Clearance section.

Just an update: We are busy experimenting with new patterns to offer you more options in custom window treatments and home decor items. We have added many team members whose expertise and experience vary widely and together they make incredible items! 

We have also hired a skilled website engineer who is making our website more user friendly and simplifying things for us. She started last week and I am excited to see the result. 

Happy shopping!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Candied French Toast Recipe

Since the holiday months are full of cooking homemade goodies, I thought it would be fun to share some of my own recipes, favorites around our house. 

I was quite good at the lab component of chemistry. That could be why I am excellent in the kitchen, since cooking is just chemistry. Or, I just listened really well to my mom. In either case, I don't say this to brag, it's just a talent that I have been blessed with and love to share with everyone. I am finally ready to share some of my secret recipes with you that have kept family and visitors in our home coming back for more. The recipe I am going to start with is candied french toast.

What you will need:
Bread: I like Nature's Own Butterbread, but the Texas Toast size slices are the best for french toast

5 eggs
2 Tbls of milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
(Combine above in one dish).

2 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(combine above in a small dish or a spice container that you can sprinkle the mixture out of).

*Do not mix the cinnamon and sugar in with the egg mixture like traditional french toast recipes.*

Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg together in a pie plate. It's easiest to soak bread slices in a flat pie plate.

Soak the bread slices for just long enough to coat both sides, then put it in the preheated butter pan.

With one side cooking, sprinkle the sugar mixture on the raw egg side of the bread. Now, the point of this is that you want the sugar to be on top of the mixture, not mixed in with the egg. You want the sugar coating on top to have immediate contact with the heat. Why? What happens to sugar when it is heated? The white sugar turns to a hard coating and the brown sugar caramelizes.

The reason I don't sprinkle the sugar mixture on the first side that is cooking while it is soaking in the egg mixture is because I don't want to get any of the sugar and cinnamon in the egg mixture. With adding more as you cook, it could get overwhelming in flavor if you add it to the egg mixture as well.

Turn your bread slices over so the sugared part can caramelize and the egg mixture can cook. 

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on the cooked side of the bread. When the other side is done cooking, flip slices again for just a moment so that the other side can caramelize. This will happen immediately.

I always sprinkle the finished product with a bit more cinnamon sugar on top for good measure ;) Can't have too much.

Happy tummies make for happy dinner table conversations and a happy day!

If you try this, let me know how it comes out. I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November sponsor: Film Funding and update on October sponsor

Another month has passed for the Meli family, and I hope they are doing well. We had a successful month and were able to donate $285.00 to their family. The Window Treatments by Melissa family wishes them the best and hope this small amount will help them.

This month we are helping a budding film director, Jared Cooley, fund his first full length film, taking him to the next step in his career as a film maker! A few years ago we helped Jared with a short film project called "The Black Bird." The Black Bird film is about a young boy in elementary school who becomes witness to a series of coincidences between his fellow classmates and a strange black bird that seems to target the next to die.

You can check out the Chattanooga Film Festival Recap podcast here where at 26:46 it is said about The Black Bird, "... It looked like a professional film shrunken to 14 minutes. . . the story was clever. . . . . the highlight of that segment of short films. . . ." Statement by Scott Phillips. I'm excited to see what Jared can do with a full length film! 

Here are some fun facts about the film The Black Bird:

The animal trainer for the "cravens" used in the film were trained and handled by David Sousa(The Matrix, Harry Potter films, Thor, Game of Thrones). We had them for one day and cost most of the budget. A storm came in causing the script to be slightly rewritten because of a location change.

It took four days to shoot, one of which was reserved entirely for the climax scene.

The Film was shot on a RED One MX camera.

The band Jukebox The Ghost allowed the use of their song "Devils On Our Side."

Jared says:
I was very fortunate with the making of The Black Bird with the crew and talent involved in making it come to life. The obvious one would be with the black bird itself. I met the animal trainer, David Sousa, on a previous set I was working on. He told me about birds he was raising and training that needed set experience. From that point the gears were turning and six months later the script took shape. There was no question of who I was going to for the bird in this film. David's long list of work speaks for it's self and my experience with him and his animals were phenomenal.

I also need to mention my cinematographer, Devin Keebler. I have known him from the beginning and there is no one else I would rather have behind the lens with me. His passion and vision is beyond anyone I've encountered in the field. His work with the colorist on this film is unbelievable.

Visual FX on this film came for an intern from Valencia College. No one would know but there were many visual fxs that are seamless: guide wire removal for the bird, sky replacement, and window replacement with entire outside environment and rain created.
Last but not least my actors John Corbin(Billy) and Bill Huggins(mystery character). First John was leaps and bonds the best child actor I have ever worked with. Amazing talent and can't wait to work with him again. Now, Bill had never acted in anything at all and exceeded my expectations. He worked weeks on his character and only had one shooting day. He mastered everything I was looking for and made the character real for the scene.

Jared's next film is underway with casting, set locations, script writing, etc. And we're going to help on the funding end of the project! It's going to be a mystery thriller and is set to film in May. We're excited to help out on Jared's film and hope our small donation will get him that much closer to achieving his dream.

For the month of November, domestic sales can get free shipping in our etsy store. Custom window treatments can get pricey to ship since they are unique sizes and often mounted on heavy mounting boards. Our shipping prices START around $15.00, so take advantage of this coupon code:


This code will be good through all of November on domestic US shipping. 

We're so glad to be a part of this film project and hope to be a support in reaching this goal and dream! Good luck, Jared! The film is going to be amazing!