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As the weather starts to get warmer, there is a definite feeling in the air of wanting to sweep out the dark winter months and prepare for the lighter summer evenings ahead. In our blog this month we wanted to share our ultimate checklist of where to start with your spring cleaning, naturally with a big focus on window dressings and soft furnishings.

We are having lots of conversations with our clients at the moment about how they can let more light into their communal rooms. In some cases we just need to give our window dressings a good clean, in other examples we need to alter or replace the curtains or blinds. Below we share some ideas to get you started:

1. The best way to clean curtains

Our Head Designer Sarah does not recommend dry cleaning curtains, unless it is really necessary, because we see many of our clients being disappointed with the results. The reason for this is fairly straightforward. There are three layers of fabric to the curtains we make, the fabric at the front, the lining at the back and an inner lining which goes in between the two, to help provide body and depth. Each fabric layer is made up of different fabrics, so when they go into the dry cleaning solution they react in different ways and tend to shrink a little. So, whereas before the curtains hung beautifully, where they shrink, they start to pull and don’t drape in the way they should. 

To clean the curtains effectively, our advice is to generally vacuum twice a year, with the soft round head of the vacuum cleaner. If you have small stains or marks, for some of our clients a successful technique has been to use a small amount of washing-up liquid and a clean JCloth to gently rub away the stain. If there is a serious stain such as a glass of wine, then they will need to be dry cleaned.

We generally see that if cared for curtains last for about 10/15 years, but it depends upon how much light hits the window. If a lot of light hits the curtains, the fabric may fade. Silk curtains will fade in light within a couple of years and cotton print may last nearer five, the quality of the fabric might also play a part here. If you have curtains that are fading, a neat trick is to move the exposed and fading material to the back, hanging the curtains the other way around. This is not always possible as you might find that the pattern does not run in the right way – give it a try and of course, if you are ready to replace your curtains, please get in touch.

2. The best way to clean or dust blinds

The best way to clean blinds is to vacuum the dust off them by using the soft round head of the vacuum cleaner. Please don’t take a Roman Blind to a dry cleaner as you need to sew in the structure and the dry cleaning process impacts this. For any stubborn marks that do not come off, a successful technique for some of our clients has been to use a small amount of washing-up liquid and a clean JCloth, to gently rub away the stain. In this instance, it is best not to use neat water as it will often leave water marks on the fabric.

3. Wash the windows

An obvious place to start when wanting to let more light into a room is to clean the windows, both inside and out. Vinegar is good to use when cleaning windows, ensure a soft cloth is used to avoid streaks. For a more detailed guide on the best way to clean your windows click HERE.

4. Clean patio door sliding tracks

Probably not one of the most obvious places to think of when spring cleaning, but if they are not cleaned, it can be noticeable once the summer entertaining begins. Start by brushing away any unwanted mud or leaves and then use warm soapy water to get rid of any remaining mud, marks or grime.

5. Clean door frames

So easy to miss, especially when they are not at eye level but a good spring clean would not be complete without wiping down all of the door frames in your room. Don’t forget the tops of the doors!

6. Freshen furniture

To help lighten a room and add life back into your furniture ensure you oil and feed any wooden furniture; clean leather furniture with a damp cloth and hoover under sofas or other larger items. Of course, we can help by refreshing any of your soft furnishings, such as lampshades, cushions or blankets as part of your room updates, please get in touch to discuss your next project.

7. Clean and dust light fittings

To ensure as much light as possible can shine through into the room it is also good to wash or dust light fittings and lamp shades. As we have seen with our blinds above, use the soft round head of the vacuum cleaner to remove any dust from lampshades. For stubborn stains a technique that has been used by some of our clients is to take a small amount of neat washing-up liquid and a clean JCLoth, then gently rub away the stain.

8. De-clutter each room

When preparing for the warm summer months, the final part of the jigsaw and probably the best place to start is by de-cluttering each room, making it feel more spacious. Take one room at a time, remove unwanted items and pack away any seasonal items such as rugs, blankets or fireplace tools.

In summary

If you would like to freshen up your home for the warmer summer months and wish to replace your window dressings or soft furnishings please get in touch. We have an exciting range of new spring fabrics that have just arrived from Romo, Sanderson, William Morris, Valla Nova and Fermoie that we would love to share with you. 

We are also offering a FREE initial design consultation and 10% off any new orders until midnight on 10 May 2024, terms and minimum order value apply.

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