Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blind Recall

The US Consumer Products Safety has recalled over 50 million window blinds due to the possibility of children strangling on the exposed cords. Health Canada has not issued a similar recall but has issued a warning and is urging consumers to follow the U.S. program and have their blinds, made prior to 2001, retrofitted. If you have these products in your home you need to know what the problem is and how to fix it. At the end of this column will be the list of websites for you to check.

Blinds and shades that have any cords are suspect. If a cord can be manipulated to form a large loop ( through which a child’s head could fit), it is considered a candidate for retrofit. The solution the retrofit kit provides is to remove all the cords and the blind is thereafter raised by feeding each ring ( where the cords used to pass) onto a metal shower ring. While this will work it is a very unwieldy fix. You have to get behind the blind in order to feed the rings onto the shower ring and each column of rings needs to be done separately and you do this each time you want to raise or lower the blinds.

If you don’t want to remove the cords, you can make the blinds somewhat safer. Please move children’s beds away from windows that have these blinds. When the shade is in the up position the pull cords should be firmly attached to the wall with a cord cleat, or fastened above the blind, out of the reach of children. Make sure the tassel on the pull cord is of the ‘breakaway’ style. When the blinds are in the down position, tie all the pull cords into a knot at the top of the cords, close to the head-rail where the cords come away from the blind. This will prevent the cords on the back of the blind from being pulled into a loop if a child tugs on the bottom of the cord.

If you have a fabric Roman blind I can do an alteration so the cords on the back are partially concealed and I have breakaway tassels you can install.

Free Retrofit kit:

Information on the U.S. Recall:

To see the retrofit kit: - click on the ‘Repair Roman Blinds’ at the bottom of the page to see the kit install instructions.

Information on the Canadian position:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Well, 2010. Came rather quickly, didn’t it? I’m not much on making resolutions; actually I love making them, it’s the keeping them that seems to be the problem. This year I have made the resolution to be kinder to myself. I’m going to really make an effort to take a bit of time every week just for me. I’m going to give myself permission to stay in my PJ’s till noon some day. I might just decide that it’s OK to have a white meal on occasion. (My favorite is fish, rice and cauliflower.)

So, what’s the point of all of this? I want you to be easier on yourselves, too.

I spend a lot of my professional life in clients homes,helping them achieve their vision. I hear from so many of you how stressful decorating is, I see how difficult the decision making process can be for some of you. I see the desire for a beautiful home space doing battle with the reality of the budget. This really bothers me because the decorating process should not cause stress. It should be a happy process; after all, we are working toward a better place for you to inhabit. I believe it’s one of my jobs, as the decorator, to help you make it fun but I need you to meet me half way. It is all about making your space your own without adding a financial burden. It’s all about making it comfortable and livable for the people who inhabit it. It is about your needs and your likes and dislikes. It is not about what the magazines say, or your neighbor, or your loving Auntie or me. It is about what is good for you and your family. Together we can accomplish so much more than if you just muddle along by yourself. This applies to most things in our lives.

In July I wrote a column called ‘You have permission to do nothing’. I heard from you that you want to be told it’s OK to take it easy. Most of you have good taste. Most of you know what you want, and even if you aren’t sure, you almost always know what you don’t want. Most of you have a fine sense of style and most of you don’t trust yourselves. Stop it. Please stop being so hard on yourselves and lets have some fun. Here’s to 2010.