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'Velcro' bedskirt - Do you have or like?

posted by: bird_lover6 on 08.06.2011 at 01:47 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I'm thinking about making a "velcro" bedskirt for my king bed and am wondering if any of you have one or would like one?

I think I would like to change swap out the bedskirt for fall and winter, and it would be so much easier if it "velcro-ed" on!

If you have an opinion, please share.



clipped on: 09.01.2011 at 09:31 am    last updated on: 09.01.2011 at 09:31 am

Traditional Black/White Bath

posted by: tussymussy on 12.02.2006 at 04:15 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Here's our new bath with subway tiles, and radiant floor heating and frameless glass shower. Lots of thanks to all of you for your ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Classic Bath


clipped on: 03.01.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2010 at 12:50 pm

Medicine cabinet - scale

posted by: marisany on 09.28.2009 at 08:30 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I'm in the middle of a bathroom + pantry/mudroom renovation. The major items have been selected/ordered (except for some cabinetry that I am still struggling with), but I still have to select the small stuff, and I am running out of steam. I have to choose a medicine cabinet by tomorrow morning so that the carpenter can frame the opening.

I will be using a 27" wide pedestal sink (Toto Carlyle; link below). The bathroom will be simple and traditional - white marble basketweave floor with black dot, white tile to chair rail height, etc. The faucets and hardware will be chrome; here is the tub filler, shown in a dark metal:

I was thinking of looking for 24" wide by 26-30" high, but I am thinking now that it will look too wide. I am going to have sconces (still to be chosen) on either side. I don't want it to look out of scale with the sink and the wall. The wall that it will be on is about 4' long and the ceilings are a little higher than 8'. There will also be a toilet on the wall.

I think my first choice would be a thin chrome frame. I do want it to be recessed.

Any advice?


clipped on: 03.01.2010 at 12:49 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2010 at 12:49 pm

Small bath remodel on a modest budget. Finished!

posted by: girlcat36 on 11.11.2009 at 09:21 pm in Bathrooms Forum

My 5 x 9 bathroom was gutted March 1st, and it was a long haul, but it is finally finished and usable! I am very happy with the end result. I was going for a 'modern Bohemian' look; kind of eclectic.
I had a small budget, and except for the tile, most everything was purchased online.
I lived with the 'before' bathroom for 12 years(ugh), it was mildewed because there was no exhaust vent, the vinyl floor had been painted multiple times. It was the original builders 'budget special'.
Due to a severe mold allergy, it was time to properly vent and upgrade, finally!
I had a closet door moved to be accessed from inside the bathroom, and had a french pocket door installed; I covered the glass panes on the door with opaque window film.
The ceiling was bumped up and covered with white washed fir tongue and groove.
Before(oh, the horror):
BEFORE. Bad, bad bath.











Reading this forum proved to be enormously helpful, as I was overwhelmed by having to make decisions!


clipped on: 11.18.2009 at 04:47 pm    last updated on: 11.18.2009 at 04:47 pm

Nice PB pillow covers, but costly. Want to make some.

posted by: natureperson on 07.19.2009 at 04:17 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I have not sewn in many years and was never an expert, but i could do simple things. I want to make some pillow covers that look like the ivory ones from PB, except I won't be putting zippers in mine. At $40 each at PB, I would imagine I can make them for much less.

The PB pillows are made of 100% linen, so when I go to the fabric store, what specifically should I look for that it is similar? Also, is there a certain weight I need or type of fabric? If I can't find the jute braid trim at a local fabric store, I'll order it online, and I'm assuming I need about an inch and a quarter or inch and a half to come up with an inch wide trim, right?

Oh and do you use a pattern for pillow covers, or just wing it?

Thanks for your help.


Here is a link that might be useful: PB pillow covers


clipped on: 07.19.2009 at 09:22 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2009 at 09:22 pm

My Guest Room/Tufted Headboard Update (pics)

posted by: texashottie on 05.26.2009 at 09:55 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I know some of you remember my tufted headboard. My dad made it for me out of wood on one of his visits last summer. I padded it and covered it with fabric, and then my mom came out and helped me tuft it. I'd link to that old thread, but it has scrolled off now.

This is what it looked like back then:


You'll recognize that this is the same toile linen that I'm using in my sewing room too.


Anyway, some of you have messaged me in the last few months for an update. I pretty much have all the sewing done now for that room. It's not finished, but here's what I got:


I used all linen and trimmed it with velvet. The inverted-pleat bedskirt I made simply velcroes directly onto the bottom mattress. I found that Corinthian column to use as a night stand for $10 from a store that was getting rid of their display props. I spray-painted it black---it doesn't photograph well. The two watercolors in gilded frames are from England and I bought them at an auction.

I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for a second night stand I can re-purpose. I'm also looking for more gilded artwork for the other side of the bed, plus accessories.

This is the pillow up close. Since I used gilded artwork, I carried it through by trimming the pillow in gold silk, and embroidering my last initial. (I'm the *original* "Mrs. O"!)


My dad made me that 10-foot long cornice board above the windows. I padded it and upholstered it in the linen/velvet combo. The drapes are fixed and non-functional, and I just hemmed them tonight to barely break at the floor. They are French-pleated at the top. The bamboo shades are lined with black-out so they keep the room dark. (There is a wicked cat hiding beneath that bed.)


And here's another view of the room. It links to a small bathroom. It also has a small built-in desk next to the windows.


Anyway, this is my dad's guest room since he did so much work on it. :)


clipped on: 05.27.2009 at 02:04 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2009 at 02:05 pm

Counter re-laminating almost finished...

posted by: mrsmarv on 05.03.2009 at 12:40 pm in Home Decorating Forum

After constructing and upholstering an ottoman/coffee table, I knew I had about a week before our sectional was delivered. Since the weather here is dreary this weekend, it gave me the opportunity to work indoors. I knew I had some time to tackle the re-laminating of our kitchen counters before I have to concentrate my efforts in the garden and flower beds.

I had re-laminated the counters about 5 years ago, using a port red colored Wilsonart laminate, but after time I discovered that red is very unforgiving when it comes to sunlight and fading. I decided to tackle the project again since I had the experience and the tools. This time I only had the cost of the laminate and adhesive. The last time it took me between 3-4 weeks to complete all the counters because I was very stressed, never having done it before. This time I got two of the three sections done between Friday night and last night. I chose Formica's Basalt Slate in a "honed" finish, and we love how it turned out. Even DH, who was skeptical about the choice, thinks it's gorgeous. And that makes me happy.

I have the sink run left and will tackle that next weekend. It's the easiest to template but it's a PITA because I have to turn the water off, pull the sink, router the sink opening. And then I have to set the sink back and caulk it. This means no water in the kitchen sink for at least 24 hours.

Hutch...(my Fuji camera does not take "true colors" of paint when photographed. The wall color is Beeswax, which is an ochre color. It does not look like flesh IRL!)




Hutch close-up...

Hutch close-up

Corner close up...look, no seam ;o)

Corner close-up


clipped on: 05.04.2009 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 05.04.2009 at 02:08 pm

'The Ottoman' is finished...

posted by: mrsmarv on 04.26.2009 at 10:29 am in Home Decorating Forum

...and I am very pleased.

For those of you who have been following my ottoman story you know that I've constructed an ottoman/coffee table. I had ordered what I thought was the perfect fabric to complement our soon-to-be arriving sectional sofa. The fabric arrived and even though I loved the pattern, the background color was not going to work with the sectional or with our room and everything we have in it color-wise. From the description the background color was supposed to be a dark inky blue, but what it was was a dark olive-y green. It was just way too much green and the amount of blue in the pattern wasn't enough to offset that. Our sectional is a deep smoky blue, our wall color is "Beeswax", accents are other earth tones, including red, which is here and there throughout the house, and black. So I went on a fabric hunt (again...this is almost 2 months of fabric hunting) and found a beautiful 'contemporary' floral that is predominantly earth tones and a smattering of various shades of blues, including "The Smoky Blue" LOL. I'll be making accent pillows for the sectional from the same material. Three pillows come with it so I'll cover those when it arrives, which will be in 1 1/2 weeks...woohoo!
I was originally going to look for a solid fabric or a fabric that was predominantly blue for the ottoman, but since the sectional is going to be (ahem) a large amount of blue, I didn't want to overdose on the color. I also wanted to tie in the other colors of the room so it would blend (remember Marisa Tomei..."Yeah, you blend").
I'll post pics of the room in all its glory once the sectional arrives and the pillows are finished.
If anyone is interested in seeing the whole process from start to finish, I've linked it below.

So without further ado, here she is.




Underside completed



Here is a link that might be useful: The Ottoman (Part 1)


clipped on: 04.27.2009 at 01:45 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2009 at 01:46 pm

The Ottoman (pic heavy)

posted by: mrsmarv on 04.04.2009 at 11:46 am in Home Decorating Forum

I've been in the process of building a coffee table ottoman for our soon-to-be-arriving sectional. I needed it to be a certain size and height. We didn't want leather and I didn't find anything in fabric that I was in love (or even in like) with. I had a small ottoman from our recently sold sofa and chair set that had the perfect set of feet. The feet are the same shape of those on our newly purchased sectional. And the best part is that it had the screw-in hardware to go with the feet. So I disassembled the ottoman to see how it was constructed, took the hardware and feet off and went to town. I figured out what lumber and materials I neeeded and made a trip to Home Depot. I sanded and spray painted the feet to match the antique black feet on the sectional.
The last step is to make the fabric cover, which I'll do next weekend because the fabric is on its way from I'm hoping I love it as much as I think I will or it's off on another fabric quest. Hey, good things take time ;o) I'll post the final pics once the sectional arrives and the ottoman is finished and in place.

The only pics I forget to take were the ones that showed the high-density foam cut and adhesived in place. At that point in the process I was extremely excited and on a roll LOL.

Here's how it looks, san fabric (it does have its muslin "underwear" on).

Basic frame...

Basic frame

Feet hardware...

Feet hardware

Doweling in corners, glued and screwed...

Bottom, looking up at MDF platform...


Top platform...

Top platform

Quilter's batting sheathing (tack-stripped)...

Sheathing on tack strip

Sheathing complete...

Sheathing in place

Sheathing tack-stripped in place...

Sheathing complete

Batting cover...

Batting cover

And voila, the muslin cover...

Muslin cover



clipped on: 04.11.2009 at 08:47 am    last updated on: 04.27.2009 at 01:43 pm

RE: Window cornices done! Finishing touches? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: equest17 on 04.23.2009 at 10:17 pm in Home Decorating Forum

The following is the instruction sheet from the workshop on foam cornice boards I co-taught at the county extension office. Since it was just a handout meant to accompany the class, it might be a bit hard to following without a demonstration. Let me know if anything is unclear.

A plywood cornice would be similar, except you need woodworking tools and would use a staple gun to assemble and upholster. I actually use my pneumatic stapler with 3/8" staples to attach the fabric to the foam cornice; it's much faster than pins and holds well as long as you angle the gun when you shoot. A hand stapler doesn't work on foam, so unless you have upholstery tools, pinning as the sheet describes would be best. (One nice thing about pinning to foam is you can easily remove the fabric later and recover the cornice if you tire of the original look.) If you have access to it, a half-thickness sheet of Dacron wrap is a little better than quilt batting, but the latter is cheap and easy to find.

You can do scalloped or profiled bottom edges with the cornice, also. Just trace your design onto the front valance and cut it out with the utility knife. You'll have to clip the fabric a lot to go around curves when you pin/staple it, so something that doesn't ravel is best. I found that fabric with a bit of stretch is actually great for this. The little girl's cornice I did below used a knit plush material and had enough give to pull tightly around the curves without puckering.




1. 4 x 8 sheet of 1/2" foam core insulation board (available at Home Depot or Lowes)
2. Hot glue gun and glue sticks
3. Straight pins (both standard dressmaker pins and small ball head straight pins (size 17 is about 1 1/16" long)
4. High or extra high loft quilt batting (enough for one layer over front, sides, and top of cornice)
5. Spray adhesive
6. Decorator fabric (optional fringe or trim, if desired)
7. Utility knife, straight edge, marker
8. 2"-3" long 90 degree angle brackets

Measuring Cornice:

For each cornice, you will create the following four (4) pieces from foam core board as instructed below:
One (1) front valance
Two (2) end pieces (or "returns")
One (1) top

1. Determine height of front valance face (generally between 10" - 18", based on window size, ceiling height, or other personal preferences).
2. Determine length of front valance (be sure to allow extra width if hanging curtains underneath); if your desired length is over 8 feet (the widest dimension of the foam core board), you will splice pieces as described assembly steps below.
3. Determine side depth from wall, called the return (2"-4" if no curtains underneath, 6" or more if mounting over curtains)
4. Top piece will be same depth as side piece and 1" longer than front valance width


1. Using straight edge, mark desired dimensions on white side of foamboard; score with box cutter or utility knife, snap along line, and cut through aluminum skin if necessary.
* For a cornice over 8 feet, you will need to join foam pieces to create each front valance and top panel. Cut the lengths for the front face and top out of as many pieces as necessary. Lay the pieces flat and hot glue the edges together to form one length. Cut a wide strip of thin cardboard (cereal box, etc.) and hot glue it over the seam on both sides.
2. Lay front valance aluminum side up and hot glue return ends on left and right edges with aluminum side in. Insert dressmaker pins from the outside of return ends into the cut edge of front valance to reinforce glued joints (about every 2").
3. Glue and pin top to front valance and end pieces with aluminum side facing in to make a three sided box, white on the outside and shiny aluminum on the inside (this reflects more light to brighten the window, but if you accidentally glue it the other way, it won't really matter). If the front face and top lengths both have a seam, try to offset the seams so they don't align.
4. On interior of cornice box, "caulk" the seams with a thick bead of hot glue to reinforce. Allow to dry.
5. Spray adhesive on exterior of foam core and apply batting. Trim batting to leave just a small amount to wrap over the cut foam edge. Cut out excess batting on corners so there is only a single layer; do not fold batting over itself.
6. Center decorator fabric over batting and begin stretching and smoothing from the center out. Secure fabric with ball head pins inserted in foam at a steep angle (almost parallel with the foam) with the points facing the outer edge of the foam and the ball head aligned with the cut fabric edge. Continue out to the ends of the cornice, folding and cutting as necessary.
7. At top corners, fold excess fabric like a big dart (miter) so that there is a straight fold running parallel to the cornice frame edge where top and side end pieces are joined.
8. Attach any desired trim or embellishment to the cornice fabric. Double cording can be pinned along the bottom edge with dressmaker or applique pins pushed straight up into the cut foam edge or cording or flat trim can be hot glued to the face.
9. To mount cornice, screw angle brackets into the wall above the window at the desired height. Hang cornice on brackets and use a short push pin or thumb tack on the inside to secure to angle bracket.


clipped on: 04.24.2009 at 03:23 pm    last updated on: 04.24.2009 at 03:23 pm

Window cornices done! Finishing touches?

posted by: equest17 on 04.23.2009 at 03:34 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Ive had the drapes for my husbands home office done for a while now, but I hadnt gotten around to completing the cornices. Since Im doing window treatments for all the windows in our new (to us) 4 BR house, I saved money on hardware where I could. I already knew I was going to make cornices for this room, so I used metal electrical conduit for the drapery rods, long hooks from the hardware department to mount them, and angle brackets to hang the cornices to cover everything. I was going to sew roman shades for the windows, but I found these bamboo blinds and my husband preferred the idea of just opening and closing the louvers and not having to raise and lower the shades. I like the texture they add and it ties in with the woven bamboo on the ceiling fan.

Im thinking about adding some double cording or gimp to the seams of the inset plaid panel on the cornice. Or maybe a fat single cord to the bottom edge. The drapes are a taupey brown with sage paisley and the cornice is a brown microfiber with an insert of subtle plaid in sage. I have lots of the microfiber left, some of the paisley, and a little bit of the plaid. Any ideas on finishing touches to really complete the look?







clipped on: 04.24.2009 at 03:17 pm    last updated on: 04.24.2009 at 03:17 pm

Help: Photo Shoot at MY house THIS week!

posted by: soonermagic on 03.04.2008 at 07:17 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I could really use your help. The local home magazine is doing a spread on my house on Thurs and I need to make sure it's ready. I've lived on the home building and the kitchen forums for the last 16 months while building my house. I've lurked here for decorating ideas, so I'm now introducing myself. Hello!

So, I asked a decorator to come over and help me finish the accessorizing, but I could still use your collective eye. I hope you're willing!

I'm going to post a ton of pictures. Please pay attention to accessories. I'm willing to move anything around the house. I'm not a photographer, so hopefully the mag's photog will have a better eye for composition.

**Living Room** Concerned that it's too drab in color. Decorator wants to move the flowered chair from landing (below) to this space and move the two brown chairs up to the landing. I think the landing is perfect as it is and don't want 2 OK looking rooms. OPINIONS PLEASE

Living Room

Living Rom

Living Room

**Stairs** Again lacking color!

**Dining Room** (OK so it's still the same room, but it's our dining "space" I suppose. Someday we're going to get fabric arm chairs for the ends of the table, but didn't find the perfect chairs for the photo shoot (one of the things I hired the decorator for). Should I set the table? I have great white dishes from PB that pop against the dark table ... perhaps I'll set the table and post a separate pic.

Dining Room

I will put some flowers on the hutch (red tulips in the mercury vase) for some color:


Should I put apples in the large vases on this sideboard and apples in the long white dish (didn't have enough apples on hand today), or could do apples in the vases and a flower arrangement here? Ohter ideas??

China Cabinet

**Kitchen** I normally have stuff piled in the middle of hte island, but decorator says to leave the expanse empty with just the bowl of apples on the end. I do think that's a good suggestion. Do the accessories on the counter look good? How about the mantle ... looking OK?




**Laundry Room** One of my favorite rooms!




**Master Bed** OK, I need to get rid of the alarm clock and need to put some fresh flowers on the bedside table. Should I stage this with a tray, cup of coffee, little bud vase, etc on the bed?

Master Bed

Master Bed

Master Bed

**Master Bath** So, I KNOW I need to clean the shower glass and will do so before the shoot, so please overlook. For the photos, I'll set a glass of wine and a book on the tray across the tub. I need bamboo in the vases on the counter, but can't find any, so will just put something green in those. Anything else?

Master Bath

Master Bath

Master Bath

Master Bath

**Landing** (My favorite room ... other than kitchen). This is the chair that decorator wants to move to the living room and switch with the 2 big brown chairs. What do you think?





**Hubby's Room** So, this is the room where I let hubby have complete license, so it's full of Star Wars and University stuff, but he did a good job, I think.

Hubby's Room

Hubby's Room

Hubby's Room

Hubby's Room

I happily welcome any suggestions, as I want our home to present as best it can in the magazine. Thanks!


clipped on: 04.17.2009 at 04:10 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2009 at 04:10 pm

Ribbon for trees and snowflake instructions

posted by: lynnencfan on 11.23.2008 at 04:57 pm in Holiday Forum

lol - first off you know you are into too many Christmas forums when you spend 1/2 the day hunting up a question that was asked of you and you know you didn't answer it :D

First off the amount of Ribbon for a tree - I think it was delphinium33 that asked that question. For both my trees I used two different ribbons - one with a design and one plain and always WIRE EDGED. Depending on the height of the tree I will cut ribbon that is twice the height plus a foot or two extra - be generous. I then attach a wire in the center of the lenghts and attach that to the top of the tree - then I just play around with the puffiness I want. When I want it to tuck back into the tree I will skrunch in at that point and attach wire again and wire it into a branch well into the tree - I just keep repeating the process down the streamer till I get the look I want. Then I will repeat the other side and sometimes add more streamers - it just all depends on the size and fullness of the tree. I do keep walking around the tree and looking at it from all angles just to make sure I like it.

As for the bow - I generally figure on 12" for every loop I want - my bows are very full - 12-16 loops depending on the ribbon texture. It takes a lot of ribbon to make it look luxurious but I usually buy the jumbo spools from Micheals when they have the ones 100ft for 4.99 - last year I bought 6 spools of the basic Christmas colors. I am glad I did - I haven't seen that good a buy this year. After the season is over I will roll the ribbon back onto a spool to keep it neat to use again.

Now as for the crystal snowflakes - several of you asked about them and I will beg off till after Thanksgiving then I will do some more and take pictures. I have to make quite a few more anyway. I will put the intruction back into this thread when I do

Now back to finish the bedroom tree :)......



clipped on: 12.05.2008 at 03:05 pm    last updated on: 12.05.2008 at 03:05 pm

Flatwear question, need help

posted by: lyban on 09.02.2008 at 08:14 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I did not know where to post this but I guess it is considered home decor since it goes on the table.
I am looking for a good reliable stainless steel everyday cutlery set.
I have been having problems with my knives pitting in the dishwasher and need a new set.
I do not want it to be the most expensive but then again I do not want a cheap set which will not keep its lustre.
Can anyone give me a recommendation and also tell me what you consider a decent price for a service for 12. Thanks.


clipped on: 09.03.2008 at 07:02 pm    last updated on: 09.03.2008 at 07:05 pm

Let's see the front of your house

posted by: amylville on 07.25.2008 at 11:02 am in Home Decorating Forum

Why? Because I am nosey. Actually I really enjoy seeing pictures of everyones beautiful work, and the front is a great place to start!Also what do you like best about it? Here is mine

I love that I have 2 front doors!


clipped on: 07.30.2008 at 12:05 am    last updated on: 07.30.2008 at 12:11 am

Easy to sew valance directions

posted by: my3dogs on 07.17.2008 at 08:01 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Hi everyone!

Here are the directions for the valances that you saw in the post linked below. They ARE EASY - but the directions are long, because I am trying to give you enough detail, even if you are a beginner. Read them all the way through so you understand them, and ask any questions you may have. If you are a real novice, you may want to make a sample using just muslin, or other inexpensive fabric, til you get the hang of it.

This is a no-pattern valance that I started making last summer. It requires just straight stitching. My windows are generally about 50" (more or less)in height. If your windows are very short or very tall, you may want to vary the length of the fabric you use. I would say to err on the 'buy more' side though, so they don't look skimpy. The fullness adds richness.

I generally use 1 1/4 yards of 54" wide home dec fabric to make the valance. You will need an equal amount of lining fabric. If you choose to put trim on the bottom (it adds a lot to the treatment, IMO) buy 1 1/2 yards of trim to make sure you have enough to go across the length of your 54" wide fabric. If your fabric is wider than 54", buy enough trim to cover its width.

Cut your valance fabric and lining to equal lengths. I always measure the side edges of my fabric and mark the length before cutting. It may have not been cut straight at the store, and you want to be sure that your left side is the same length as your right side.

Pin the two rectangles of fabric together on all sides, with the RIGHT (front) sides of the fabrics inside, facing each other. Before putting the fabrics together, I mark lightly on the back which is the TOP of the print (if using a print) and which is the bottom, so your print will end up right side up!

Depending on the type of rod you plan to use for the valance, you need to leave openings on each side that will become your rod pocket. Continental rods (the flat wide plain ones) need a 4" rod pocket. If you use a decorative rod, with finals on the end that screw off, I would recommend making your rod pocket 2" wide. For a small tension rod, I'd make the rod pocket 1.5" wide. You don't want to force your fabric onto the rod - allow room to make it easy for you.

Measure down from the TOP of your pinned together fabric, and make a light mark with pencil on each side, the size of your chosen rod pocket, plus 1/2". That 1/2" is going to be the width of your top seam. You'll be making a mark on the left and right sides 4 1/2" down from the top if you use a Continental rod, for example. Stitch from these marks down each side to the bottom, using a 1/2" seam.

You'll need to leave an opening in the top or bottom to turn your valance inside out when you're done stitching.

I'd suggest a 4" - 6" opening for turning. If your rod pocket openings are 4", you don't need to leave another opening, you can use them to turn it inside out.

Mark the opening you need to leave, then stitch across the top and bottom edges, using a 1/2" seam, leaving your opening...well...OPEN!

Clip your fabric corners off OUTSIDE of your stitching. This is just a small triangle of fabric from each corner. This will allow you to get nice sharp edges on your corners when your turn the valance right side out, as it reduces the bulk of fabric there.

Turn your valance right side out, pulling it through the opening you left. I use a wooden chop stick to push the fabric gently at the corners to make them nice and square, once I have turned mine right side out. Don't push too hard, or you may poke a hole through your valance! At this point, you should have a lined rectangle of fabric, with rod pocket openings near the top of each side.

Close the opening you left for turning, either by folding and pressing the edges in and hand stitching it closed, or use 'stitch witchery' type of fusing tape to do it. You can also sew it closed with your sewing machine, but you want to do it right at the edge. You want to make this closure as 'invisible' as possible, so I always use fusible tape.

Carefully iron your valance. Use your fingers to work the edges, so that you have your seam right in the middle of each edge, so you don't see the front fabric on the backside, and you don't see the lining from the front.

Now, to stitch the rod pocket. You will be making one row of stitching across the front of your fabric from side to side.
Measure down from the top edge, so you have the same length opening on each side. The size of the opening you left on each side was determined above by the type of rod you're using.

You can lightly pencil on the line that you need to stitch across, or do what I do - Place the fabric on the sewing machine, and put the needle down on the place where you'll start stitching. Take a 4" (approx) length of masking tape, and lay it against the upper edge of the fabric, to the right of the needle, and stick it to the sewing machine base. You can use this tape edge as a guide to hold the top edge of your fabric against as you stitch across. It helps you make a straight, even rod pocket. My sewing machine has tape on it for all different widths of rod pockets!

If you chose to put trim on the bottom of your valance, do it now. I use 'Aleen's OK To Wash-It' fabric glue that you can get at WalMart or a fabric store. If you use glue, just follow the directions on the bottle to glue your trim evenly to the front bottom of your valance. I lay my valance on my kitchen island, and let it set overnight, while the glue dries. You can also stitch your trim on, either by hand or by machine. I prefer the glue, because you see no stitching on the back side. (I'm anal.)

Now to make the ties. You can simply buy ribbon (such as grosgrain) or use purchased cord (see my dining room silk ones in the link) or make them out of fabric. Use either the same fabric or a coordinating one.

Here, you first need to decide if you are going to tie your valance up with bows, or do knots. Bows take longer ties.

Allow yourself a MINIMUM of 36" long ties. You can always cut them shorter if necessary, but you can't make them longer. I suggest hanging your valance up and using string to tie them up temporarily to see how long you need to make your ties. (It's longer than you think!)

Cut your strips of fabric approx 4" wide and the length you have decided on above for your ties. Fold and pin the strips in half the the short way, so you have a long strip of fabric that is 2" wide. Make sure the right sides are together, (inside) because you are going to turn them inside out after stitching.

Stitch along the pinned edge of each strip, about 1/4" from the edge. Now the fun part - turn those narrow strips inside out. My chop stick comes in handy for this, but use whatever method you choose to accomplish this.

Press the ties just as you did the valance rectangle, making sure your seam is even on the edge. I fold in the raw ends and use my fusible tape to close them, but you can machine stitch them closed or do it by hand - Your choice. Your valance is done!

Put it on your rod, using the rod pocket. Hang it in your window. Now, take the ties, and simply drape them over the rod on each side, having half of the tie fabric strip hanging in front, and the other half of the tie hanging behind the valance.

Now, gather up one side of the valance in your hands, and reach behind it it grab the dangling tie in back. Tie up the valance, by tying the front and back pieces of the tie together, either in a knot or a bow. Do the same with the other side, making sure your ties on each side are tied up at the same length.

Now stand back and make sure your valance looks even at the bottom on each side. Use your hand to 'finger fold' and drape your fabric until the look is what you want.

You'll be surprised at what a difference it can make in the look by spacing your ties closer together, or moving them further apart on the rod. Also by tying the ties higher or lower...

This is where you need to play around until you get the look you want. On the HGTV message board, a woman made these and kept posting pics asking for advice - Higher? Lower? Move the ties apart or closer...It's really all up to you. Hers looked GREAT when she was done, and she was so pleased to have made her own custom valance. I hope you all feel the same way, if you try them!

Here is a link that might be useful: several shown here - all the same instructions


clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 09:37 pm    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 09:38 pm

Brutuses - I will post easy valance directions later

posted by: my3dogs on 07.17.2008 at 09:44 am in Home Decorating Forum

I have LOTS of work - my real job - to do today, so will not be able to post them til later, But it's just a piece of decorator fabric 54" wide, lined, with trim glued on the bottom. I make matching or coordinating ties to hold them up, and depending on your choice of fabric, you can get MANY different looks. Here are a few more that you haven't seen in other posts.




I typically don't show bedroom pics, as I just throw an old sheet over the bed, due to sharing it with the dogs!

These are hung inside the trim in my office/sewing room.

You've seen these in another post, but fall/winter in upstairs bath

Currently in dining room. I used inexpensive cord curtain tie backs to hold these silk ones up.


clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 11:11 am    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 11:11 am

RE: Welcome My3dogs.... (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.14.2008 at 08:04 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Gee, THANKS!!! This is a nice place and I am enjoying the posts very much.

To introduce myself and my 3 dogs, here are a few pics of my house and yard, and the 'kids' - Brittanys Sam, Joey and Jenny. We live in Southern Maine, near the coast and have a small river forming my property line. I have had this 1937 cape for almost 22 years, and love it. Over the years I have made it just what I need for my little family.

I love vintage and antique items and the house has a LOT of eBay and CL finds in it. I sew and make all my own window treatments, pillows, etc. Jim - thanks for the help with posting pics here!

This is not a current pic of the house, there is a brick walk out front now and another garden. I think I have 14+ perennial beds. (Dad was right all those years ago when he told me to stop.)


The river and part of the back yard

My shed - same age as the house. A friend and I moved it back here when I had the garage added years ago. All my gardens have names and this one is the Woodchuck Salad Bar. It doesn't get a lot of care, because they eat whatever they want out of it.

Part of the front yard

Joey on the left and Jenny on the right, having taken care of the sheet that I use to protect the couch....Gee, do they look spoiled here?

And Sam, who in this picture is respecting the sheet on the loveseat, but that doesn't always happen.


clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 11:10 am    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 11:10 am

The upstairs bathroom (Follow-Up #44)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 07:00 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Talk about warm and cozy! That's just the feeling that I'm getting from all of your comments. I know my house isn't everyone's taste, but I just love it. The ceilings could be higher! They are 7.5' on the first floor and 7' on the second! No ceiling fans here...

I have had amazing luck on eBay, Craigslist, the consignment store...and where I can sew, it's easy to take a piece of fabric and turn it into a fun window treatment. Some room's WTs get changed out from spring/summer to fall/winter, just because I love to make them!

Valzone5, I have relatives in NB! When I was a child, we visited them in New Denmark. My favorite relatives have moved from Toronto to St. Stephen.

Anele and anutjen - THANK YOU, and all the rest of you. I just do what I like, and you won't find many new things here - I like the 'warmth' of older items, and alway have. I still have a spool bed that I bought when I was 16 in my guest room. It's funny - my sister works in a high end furniture store here in Maine and she hates my style! She does like me to make her window treatments, though, and she just chose a new color for her bathroom...lo and behold it was the Wythe Blue in my front entry. When I saw the paint sample, I laughed, and she couldn't believe it! She also chose the same fabric as in my half bath WT, but in a different colorway. (It's by Covington and called Seaworthy'. She said she 'thought she'd seen it somewhere before'...

Here are some more pics - this is the upstairs bath...

It started with dark pine paneling below, and had bright orange and yellow foil wallpaper when I bought the house. Add a 'Hollywood' light strip on either side of the medicine cabinet for good measure. I had wallpapered it a few times, changed the lights, and it looked nice, even with the pine paneling (real stuff) but this is what I did last fall, with a friend who I hired to help with the beadboard and changing electrical.

I took out the light fixtures and put a PB 4 light sconce (eBay) above and antique Ogee mirror that I found locally.


At the same small store, I found this great old oak cabinet with mercury glass in the door. That is now my medicine cabinet.


All of the transferware here is from eBay or Cornish, Maine.

This is the fall/winter WT, and you'll see why I chose it in a minute. It's a Waverly fabric called Carter's Grove.


I found some Thibaut 'Paysannerie' fabric on eBay last year - $6.00 for FOUR yards! This fabric sells locally for $54 PER yard. I bought matching wall paper (didn't need much) and that is what this bath is done in. Here is the summer WT in the fabric.


Here is the fabric above, and you'll see (I hope) that the rug picks up the green colors in the fabric/paper.


Now, how the rug and the fall/winter fabric and trim coordinate.

I found Douglas fir original flooring under the vinyl that I ripped up, and had it finished. LOVE it!

Finished Carter's Grove WT -

I bought and refinished another antique bureau - this one from Craigslist, and turned it into my vanity. My friend cut away the drawers and each one of them has loads of storage. I had some marble already on the radiator in the upstairs bath, and chose this remnant of Carerra to match it. I had a heck of a time finding a sink to fit, but this Kohler Serif sink made it!

A little touch from eBay. I got 2 of these old lamps (no shades) for $7.00. I put a glass shade on this one, and the half bath above has one with a fabric shade (50% off Waverly at Lowes). I love having them on at night with a 25w bulb.

I'm quitting here before I wear out my wonderful welcome! Thanks again to all of you!


clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 11:09 am    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 11:09 am

Wallpaper in entry for jynxed23 (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 02:38 pm in Home Decorating Forum

It's Waverly, (link posted below) and I lucked out by getting 2 rolls + on eBay when a woman had some leftover from doing her dining room! I paid just $24 for enough to do the entry - yay!

And Denali, I don't mind the winters, as I've lived through MANY of them. This past one was a doozie. This was taken on 12/20/07 - just in time for a white Christmas. My picnic table shows what we got that time. Sadly, it kept coming and coming and the snow lasted til May. We seemed to have a storm every Wednesday and every weekend. The holly is right outside my garage.




Happy New Year - taken at 6 AM in my driveway on 1/2/08. What's not to like? :-)


And, my winter turkey friends who line up out back...I threw them some sunflower seed, and they never forgot...


Auntiejen, It's a good thing I like vintage things because the dogs add 'patina' to it all, as you can imagine. It's funny how the dog hair 'tumble weeds' don't show up in the photos, but trust me, they ARE there! This is the second 'set' of three Brittanys that I have had, and I'll admit, the living room floor needs re-finishing badly. The thought of moving all that furniture out makes me keep putting it off.

Here is a link that might be useful: A link to the paper on


clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 11:08 am    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 11:09 am

RE: Per request, a few pics of My3dogs home interior (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 02:02 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Again, thank you all for the warm reception to my little place.

Here are a few more rooms. I have posted the living room in another post, but this puts it all together in one. It's a typical front to back living room as often found in these old capes, and is 10' x 25'!

Here is the front of the LR -
living room March 22 2007

And the back. I broke it up into a breakfast type nook in the back. The bay window overlooks the river, and I eat all my meals from that antique pine table. The towel that you see below the window is there to protect the base because Sam and Joey love to get up in that window and watch the activity in the back yard and in the river. We get a large variety of birds and animals passing through. The antique Irish pine corner cupboard on the left is from a local consignment shop, as is the Chinoiserie Maddox desk under the window in the shot of the front of the LR.
back of living room March 22 2007

Someone asked if that lamp on the secretary on the right is an eagle. No, it is a rooster, solid brass, vintage, very heavy with an ebonized base from eBay. You will not believe what I paid for it - $29.95! I did buy the shade, but a similar lamp sold weeks later on eBay for over $300.


My dining room has the same BM 'Crimson' below the chair rail as I painted the kitchen. It was painted Blonde above, but it did nothing for the various antique furniture in there. This past January I painted my TEENY front entry and up the stairs BM 'Wythe' blue, and found this Thibaut wallpaper that matched the adjoining entry perfectly, and had every paint color in my house it it. I HAD to order the paper.


I got the new Couristan wool rug on eBay for a bit over $400, and it has all the colors in the wallpaper.


The chairs are Hitchcock from approx 1960 - I bought 6 from eBay years ago at $95 each. Before buying them, I looked at a Hitchcock catalog in a local store. The same chairs then were over $700 each. I think my home is unique because most things in it are vintage or antique. It's what I like, and it has saved me SO much money! (My eBay lamp fetish purchases would fill another entire post!)


I picked up a silk remnant locally and made the simple WTs.


See how the colors blend - the paint samples are all the colors used in my house. Back to work, but I'll show a bit more later.



clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 11:08 am    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 11:08 am

Per request, a few pics of My3dogs home interior

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 09:44 am in Home Decorating Forum

Let me start by saying that I'm a newbie, and that my home is in southern Maine, near the coast. It is an old cape built in 1937, and a modest home of about 1700 sq. ft. I have owned it almost 22 years, and have added to it and updated it so it's perfect for me and 'my 3 dogs'! For those who haven't seen the exterior, here it is. I added the garage in the 90's.


I live on a small river which forms my irregular property line. I have many perennial are a few. This photo was taken in the spring, so not much is in bloom.

You enter through this 6' x 6' porch. 99% of furnishings, wall paper , chandy in here are from eBay.

I added this half bath years ago. The only bathrooms in the house when I bought it were upstairs and a 'rustic' one in the cellar!
I made the vanity from an old bureau that I bought for $100. Top is a remnant of Delicatus granite. Again, most accessories are from eBay.

Again, it's a modest home, and I remodeled the kitchen in the early 90's! It had a large wood stove in the kitchen when I bought it, 24" of counter space, and dark plywood cabinets. This remodel still works well for me today.

As you see from the above pic, some of the rooms still have their original, and beautiful (IMO) radiators. The house is primary heated with oil, but it also has electric heat, a gas fireplace in the LR that I put in, and the old kitchen wood stove is in the cellar now. I can use whatever is least expensive at the time, and won't freeze.

The back of the LR isn't that 'country, any more, and now looks more like this. The vintage secretary is the largest item I have ever bought on eBay. Hunting toile on the re-covered (but not by me) love seat is also from eBay.

I make all my own window treatments, and this is what is in the kitchen for the summer. A Pierre Deux 'Geraine' bargain from eBay.

Whatever fabric I use for the kitchen WTs, I also shirr on dowels that I mounted inside the glass doors, and use them to cover cook books etc, on the pantry wall in the kitchen.

Whew, I'll take a break and post a few more, if you want to see any....


clipped on: 07.17.2008 at 10:59 am    last updated on: 07.17.2008 at 11:05 am

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

posted by: buehl on 04.14.2008 at 02:56 am in Kitchens Forum

First off, I want to give a big thank-you to StoneGirl, Kevin, Joshua, Mimi, and others (past and current) on this forum who have given us many words of wisdom concerning stone countertops.

I've tried to compile everything I saved over the past 8 months that I've been on this Forum. Most of it was taken from a write-up by StoneGirl (Natural stone primer/granite 101); other threads and sources were used as well.

So...if the experts could review the information I've compiled below and send me comments (here or via email), I will talk to StarPooh about getting this on the FAQ.

Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

In an industry that has no set standards, there are many unscrupulous people trying to palm themselves off as fabricators. There are also a number of people with odd agendas trying to spread ill rumors about natural stone and propagate some very confusing and contradictory information. This is my small attempt at shedding a little light on the subject.

Slab Selection:

On the selection of the actual stone slabs - When you go to the slab yard to choose slabs for your kitchen, there are a few things you need to take note of:

  • Surface finish: The finish - be it polished, honed, flamed antiqued, or brushed, should be even. There should be no spots that have obvious machine marks, scratches, or other man made marks. You can judge by the crystal and vein pattern of the stone if the marks you see are man-made or naturally occurring. It is true that not all minerals will finish evenly and if you look at an angle on a polished slab with a larger crystal pattern, you can clearly see this. Tropic Brown would be a good example here. The black spots will not polish near as shiny as the brown ones and this will be very obvious on an unresined slab when looking at an acute angle against the light. The black specks will show as duller marks. The slab will feel smooth and appear shiny if seen from above, though. This effect will not be as pronounced on a resined slab.

    Bottom line when judging the quality of a surface finish: Look for unnatural appearing marks. If there are any on the face of the slab, it is not desirable. They might well be on the extreme edges, but this is normal and a result of the slab manufacturing process.

  • Mesh backing: Some slabs have a mesh backing. This was done at the plant where the slabs were finished. This backing adds support to brittle materials or materials with excessive veining or fissures. A number of exotic stones will have this. This does not necessarily make the material one of inferior quality, though. Quite often, these slabs will require special care in fabrication and transport, so be prepared for the fabricator to charge accordingly. If you are unsure about the slabs, ask your fabricator what his opinion of the material is.
  • Cracks and fissures: Yes - some slabs might have them. One could have quite the discussion on whether that line on the slab could be one or the other, so I'll try to explain it a little.

    • Fissures are naturally occurring features in stone. They will appear as little lines in the surface of the slabs (very visible in a material like Verde Peacock) and could even be of a different color than the majority of the stone (think of those crazed white lines sometimes appearing in Antique Brown). Sometimes they could be fused like in Antique Brown and other times they could be open, as is the case in the Verde Peacock example. They could often also go right through the body of the slab like in Crema Marfil, for instance. If you look at the light reflection across a fissure, you will never see a break - i.e., there will be no change in the plane on either side of a fissure.
    • A crack on the other hand is a problem... If you look at the slab at an oblique angle in the light, you will note the reflection of the shine on the surface of the stone. A crack will appear as a definite line through the reflection and the reflection will have a different appearance on either side of the line - there will be a break in the plane. Reject slabs like this. One could still work around fissures. Cracks are a whole other can of worms.
    • Resined slabs: The resin gets applied prior to the slabs being polished. Most of the resin then gets ground off in the polishing process. You should not be able to see just by looking at the surface of a slab whether it was resined or not. If you look at the rough sides of the slab, though, you will see some drippy shiny marks, almost like varnish drips. This should be the only indication that the slab is resined. There should never be a film or layer on the face of the stone. With extremely porous stones, the resining will alleviate, but not totally eliminate absorption issues and sealer could still be required. Lady's dream is an example. This material is always resined, but still absorbs liquids and requires sealer.
    • Test the material you have selected for absorption issues regardless - it is always best to know what your stone is capable of and to be prepared for any issues that might arise. Some stones indeed do not require sealer - be they resined or not. Baltic Brown would be an example here. It will not absorb one iota of anything, but it is still resined to eliminate a flaking issue.

Tests (especially for Absolute Black) (using a sample of YOUR slab):

  • To verify you have true AB and not dyed: Clean with denatured alcohol and rub marble polishing powder on the face. (Get denatured alcohol at Home Depot in the paint department)
  • Lemon Juice or better yet some Muratic Acid: will quickly show if the stone has alot of calcium content and will end up getting etched. This is usually chinese stone, not indian.
  • Acetone: The Dying usually is done on the same chinese stone. like the others said, acetone on a rag will reveal any dye that has been applied
  • Chips: Using something very hard & metalhit the granite sharply & hard on edges to see if it chips, breaks, or cracks


  • Before the templaters get there...
    • Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.
    • Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.
    • Make sure that the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in.
    • Check how close they should come to a stove and make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter.
    • Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.
    • Make sure have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

  • If you are not putting in a backsplash, tell them
  • Double check the template. Make sure that the measurements are reasonable. Measure the opening for the range.
  • Seam Placement: Yet another kettle of fish (or can of worms, depending on how you look at it, I guess!) Seam placement is ultimately at the discretion of the fabricator. I know it is not a really popular point of view, but that is just the way it is. There really is more to deciding where the seam would go than just the size of the slab or where the seam would look best in the kitchen.

    Most stone installations will have seams. They are unavoidable in medium or large sized kitchens. One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum. It seems that a good book could be written about seams, their quality, and their placementand still you will have some information that will be omitted! For something as seemingly simple as joining two pieces of stone, seams have evolved into their own universe of complexity far beyond what anybody should have fair cause to expect!

  • Factors determining seam placement:
    • The slab: size, color, veining, structure (fissures, strength of the material an other characteristics of the stone)
    • Transport to the job site: Will the fabricated pieces fit on whatever vehicle and A-frames he has available
    • Access to the job site: Is the house on stilts? (common in coastal areas) How will the installers get the pieces to where they need to go? Will the tops fit in the service elevator if the apartment is on the 10th floor? Do the installers need to turn tight corners to get to the kitchen? There could be 101 factors that will influence seam placement here alone.
    • Placement and size of undermount (or other) cut-outs. Some fabricators like to put seams in undermount sinks, some do not. We, for instance will do it if absolutely necessary, and have done so with great success, but will not do so as general practice. We do like to put seams in the middle of drop-in appliances and cut-outs and this is a great choice for appearances and ease of installation.
    • Location of the cabinets: Do the pieces need to go in between tall cabinets with finished sides? Do the pieces need to slide in under appliance garages or other cabinetry? How far do the upper cabinets hang over? Is there enough clearance between the vent hood and other cabinets? Again the possibilities are endless and would depend on each individual kitchen lay-out and - ultimately -
    • Install-ability of the fabricated pieces: Will that odd angle hold up to being moved and turned around to get on the peninsula if there is no seam in it? Will the extra large sink cut-out stay intact if we hold the piece flat and at a 45 degree angle to slide it in between those two tall towers? Again, 1,001 combinations of cabinetry and material choices will come into play on this question.

    You can ask your fabricator to put a seam at a certain location and most likely he will oblige, but if he disagrees with you, it is not (always) out of spite or laziness. Check on your fabricator's seams by going to actual kitchens he has installed. Do not trust what you see in a showroom as sole testament to your fabricator's ability to do seams.

    With modern glues and seaming methods, a seam could successfully be put anywhere in an installation without compromising the strength or integrity of the stone. If a seam is done well, there is - in theory - no "wrong" location for it. A reputable fabricator will also try to keep the number of seams in any installation to a minimum. It is not acceptable, for instance to have a seam in each corner, or at each point where the counter changes direction, like on an angled peninsula.

    Long or unusually large pieces are often done if they can fit in the constraints of a slab. Slabs as a rule of thumb will average at about 110"x65". There are bigger slabs and quite often smaller ones too. Check with the fabricator or the slab yard. They will be more than happy to tell you the different sizes of slabs they have available. Note, though, that the larger the slabs, the smaller the selection of possible colors. Slab sizes would depend in part on the capabilities of the quarry, integrity of the material or the capabilities of the machinery at the finishing plant. We have had slabs as wide as 75" and as long as 130" before, but those are monsters and not always readily available.

  • Generally, it is not a good idea to seam over a DW because there's no support for the granite, and anything heavy placed at or near the seam would stress the stone, possibly breaking it.
  • Rodding is another issue where a tremendous amount of mis-information and scary stories exist: The main purpose for rodding stone would be to add integrity to the material around cut-outs. This is primarily for transport and installation and serves no real purpose once the stone is secured and fully supported on the cabinets. It would also depend on the material. A fabricator would be more likely to rod Ubatuba than he would Black Galaxy, for instance. The flaky and delicate materials prone to fissures would be prime candidates for rodding. Rodding is basically when a fabricator cuts slots in the back of the stone and embeds steel or fiberglass rods with epoxy in the slots in the stone. You will not see this from the top or front of the installation. This is an "insurance policy" created by the fabricator to make sure that the stone tops make it to your cabinets all in one piece
  • Edges: The more rounded an edge is, the more stable it would be. Sharp, flat edges are prone to chipping under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. Demi or full bullnose edges would almost entirely eliminate this issue. A properly milled and polished edge will be stable and durable regardless of the profile, though. My guess at why ogee and stacked edges are not more prevalent would be purely because of cost considerations. Edge pricing is determined by the amount of work needed to create it. The more intricate edge profiles also require an exponentially larger skill set and more time to perfect. The ogee edge is a very elegant edge and can be used to great effect, but could easily look overdone if it is used everywhere. We often advise our clients to combine edges for greater impact - i.e., eased edge on all work surfaces, and ogee on the island to emphasize the cabinetry or unusual shape.
    Edge profiles are largely dependent on what you like and can afford. There is no real pro or con for regular or laminated edges. They all have their place in the design world. Check with your fabricator what their capabilities and pricing are. Look at actual kitchens and ask for references.


  • Seams:
    One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum [StoneGirl]

    • A generic good quality seam should have the following characteristics:
      • It should be flat. According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) a minimal amount of lippage is acceptable (1/32"), but conscientious fabricators all strive for a perfectly flat and smooth joint.
      • It should be narrow - as in smaller than 1/16". (I think the MIA stipulates no larger than 1/8", but that is pushing it - and only if the fabricator bevels the edges of the seam, almost similar to the edge of a stone tile. This is, thank goodness, not a standard practice any more!)
      • The color on either side of the seam should match as closely as possible. On regularly patterned stones like Ubatuba for example - there should be no variation. On stones with variation in colors or veins, the match should be made as close as was humanly possible.
      • Vein direction should flow. The MIA suggests a single direction of vein flow, but it is acceptable IF DISCUSSED WITH THE CLIENT to change vein direction on a seam if no other option is available. This would happen in book matched slabs - you will have a "butterfly" seam in this case. In other cases, the fabricator could put a miter seam in a corner and change vein direction 90 degrees. This is usually done with extremely linear veining like Bamboo Green, for example, but this is something that should be discussed with the fabricator and agreed upon by the client.
      • The seam on the finished edge of the stone should NOT dip in and create a divot in the edge. When you run your fingers over the edge, you should not be able to feel the location of the seam at all.
      • The thickness of the slabs on either side of the seam should be equal (or feathered out so that there is no discernible difference)
      • The glue in the seam should be of a color that matches the stone as closely as possible. Glue joints that are too light or too dark will show up something terrible. The idea behind tinting the glue is to try to make the seam "disappear" or something relatively close to it

  • Checklist:
    • Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.
      • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.
      • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.
      • Make sure the seams are butted tight
      • Make sure that there are no scratches, pits, or cracks

    • If sealing is necessary (not all granites need to be sealed):
      • Make sure that the granite has been sealed
      • If more than one application of sealer was applied, ask how long they waited between applications
      • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

    • Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around
    • Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.
    • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges
    • Check for chips. These can be filled.
    • Make sure the top drawers open & close
    • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher
    • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter
    • Make sure that you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances
    • Check the edge all around, a good edge should have the following characteristics:
      • Shine: The edge polish should match the top polish in depth and clarity. The edge should not be milky, dull, or waxy.
      • The edge should not have "waves". Eyeball along the edge. A good edge should have a mirror like reflection and be fairly flat. Waves that you can see or feel are not a good thing.
      • The aris (very top of the edge) should be crisp and straight, even on a bullnose edge. Once again you can see this by eyeballing along the very top end of the edge profile. A wavy, dippy aris is poor craftsmanship.
      • A good edge will have a consistent profile. It will not be larger in some spots or smaller in others.
      • A good edge should also have NO tooling lines. These will be fine lighter/white lines running along the edge. This is a mark of a poor edge polish, of a CNC machine that is not set correctly, and a lack of hand finishing. This is common when a company has only mechanical fabrication (i.e., CNC machines or line polishers) and no skilled hand fabricators to finish the work properly.

    • Run your hands around the entire laminated edge of yor counters to make sure they are smooth
    • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

Miscellaneous Information:

  • More than all the above and below, though, is to be present for both the templating as well as having the templates placed on your slabs at the fabricator's
    If you canot be there, then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam
  • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA
  • When they polish your stone for you don't let them wax it. It will look terrible in 2 months when the wax wears off.
  • Don't use the Magic Eraser on granite--especially AB
  • Any slab with more fill (resin) than stone is certainly a no-no!!
  • When you do check for scratches, have overhead lighting shining down so scratches are easier to see
  • Don't let them do cutouts in place (granite dust becomes a major issue)
  • Granite dust can be a problem...some have heard of SS appliances & hoods damaged by the dust, others have heard of drawer glides being ruined by the dust
  • If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure that they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process.
  • Suggested Prep for Installation:
    • Remove any drawers and pullouts beneath any sections that will be cut or drilled onsite, e.g., sink cutouts and/or faucet, soap dispenser, air gap, instant hot etc. holes, cooktop cutouts.
    • Then just cover the glides themselves with a few layers of blue painter's tape (or some combo of plastic wrap and tape)
    • If you make sure to cover the top of the glides and attach some of the tape to the cab wall as well (to form sort of a seal)and cover the rest of the glides completely with tape, you should be fine.
    • Usually the fabricators will have someone holding a vacuum hose right at the spot where they are drilling or cutting, so very little granite dust should be landing on the glides. What little dust escapes the vacuum will be blocked by the layer(s) of tape.
    • When done w/installation, remove the tape and use a DustBuster (or similar) on all the cabinets and glides

  • Countertop Support:
    • If your granite is 2 cm thick, then there can be no more then 6" of of unsupported span with a 5/8" subtop
    • If your granite is 3 cm thick, then there can be no more then 10" of unsupported span - no subtop required
    • If you need support, the to determine your corbel dimensions:
    • Thickness of Stone - Dimension of Unsupported Span = Corbel Dimensino
    • i.e., an 18" total overhang in 2 cm would require a 12" corbe; the same overhang in 3 cm would require an 8" corbel


clipped on: 06.15.2008 at 10:18 pm    last updated on: 06.15.2008 at 10:21 pm