Andrew asks:

Design question! I would desperately love some nice window treatments for my old house, but at some point mid-century, my old house was retrofitted with these flat-against-the-wall-type radiators. It's a colonial with small rooms and lots of windows, but that also means one or two windows in every room have a radiator under them. These bad boys never heat up enough to actually BURN a drape, but I'm wary of that. It also gets ridiculously cold here, and I don't want to block the heat. 

Right now, we have lovely 2-inch blinds in every room we're sick of. My rooms feel so unfinished! WHAT DO TO?!

So glad you asked, Andrew! A lot of people have this problem, and there are a couple of options for your dilemma. First, I'd look at installing roman shades or bamboo shades instead of curtains/draperies.

I do love a dressed-up bamboo shade -- and this type of shade is great for letting light in while still maintaining privacy.

Even plain white roman shades can look finished and beautiful when implemented correctly.

Another option is to throw caution to the wind and go with the draperies you really want. According to my main man Nick Olsen, cotton fabric has a higher flash point than your radiator's steam heat maxes out at (The numbers I researched vary -- and by research, I mean "searched on Google" -- but the general consensus is that cotton fabric ignites at several hundred degrees more than a radiator can manage.). As for the heat-blocking issue, you can always combine shades and curtains so that you still have privacy when the curtains are open, to allow for heat to escape. Plus, as I told my campers yesterday, shades and drapes in combination look really nice and layered and texture-y, and also like a rich old lady's house. I know your dream in life is to feel like a rich old lady, Andrew.

One of my favorite ways to combine the two is to use the same fabric for the shade and the curtain, like so:

If it were my place, I would order the combo platter and never look back. Thanks for writing in, and let us know what you decide!

PS. Andrew also would like to know about good Etsy clothing recommendations for men that aren't graphic t-shirts. If you have any, leave them in the comments!


All photos via Lonny Magazine except the first one, via Sara Lowman Interiors.

AuthorAB Chao
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Internet, I have missed you! We have many things to discuss, the first being that I'm clearly not the kind of blogger who can keep up with daily posts while traveling. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of work trips, fun trips, day trips, actual trips, and then, oh yeah, there was this:

Yes, my hair really IS that long.

HAHAHAHAAAAAA. I'm sure I care about my hair. THAT IS DREW BREES, Y'ALL. Thanks to the sweetest and best PR girl on the planet, we were invited to be a part of an event unveiling the first Vicks Vaporub commercial to ever feature a father and son only. Of course they chose the most adorable father/son they could find. Anyone remember this?

Yeah. No contest. You can see the new ad here. Try not to cry.

Thanks to the fact that Vince and I were the only ones there without children and the event was held at a bar, we were pretty much the only ones left towards the end. At which time I, powered by Abita Amber, gathered up enough courage to tell my boyfriend Drew the story of how the Saints' most recent win allowed Vince and I to register for the NOLA half-marathon at a price of $35 instead of $90. (Each point the Saints scored over the opposing team during October games was one dollar off the race fee -- last Sunday they beat the Colts 62-7.) Only, it took me about ten years to tell the story, because I was nervous (DREW BREES), and I somehow confused the terms "point spread" and "margin of victory." The less said about that, the better. But, who cares? Check it:

Best friends.

The other thing I did was attend the opening of Jamie Meares's new and improved Furbish Studio, which was almost as cool as meeting DREW BREES. Following a couple of flight delays and various travel-related mishaps, I finally arrived at the preview party, where I promptly latched on to my OTHER boyfriend, Mr. Nickolas Olsen. The night was a success, the new place is beautiful, and you should all go to Jamie's store and buy everything in it. Except, leave the ticking-striped settee for me, please. Thank you.

Photos by Dina of Honey & Fitz (whom I can't believe I didn't get to meet! Next time.)

Anyway, the weekend was fabulous, Nick and I drank all of the wine and then had to eat a lot of grits the next day, I went for my first trail run and then got a SPORTS MASSAGE at my awesome hotel, Jamie and Co. and I had dinner on my last night (shout-out to Keila and Deanna!), I watched the Saints win by a million points from the hotel bar (DREW BREES), and then I flew home. The end. I've missed y'all, and I'll be back on the daily blog track ASAP.

And no, I'm not cutting my hair anytime soon. In fact, I am not cutting it at all until after the race on March 4. (DREW BREES!)

AuthorAB Chao
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I almost didn't do this one, because I thought, "Oh, people know about this. It's an old trick, and everyone surely knows not to hang their art too high." But a quick look at a few house tours on Apartment Therapy made me see that I was wrong. And these are some adorable house tours, y'all.  Most every detail is right. But their art is all too high.

Clockwise from top left: Haley and Ted; Joanna and Gerry; Hannah

I'm so excited to tell you about this DEWIT, because it is something that you can go fix in your house RIGHT NOW. Do you have a hammer? No? Do you have a SHOE? Then you can go hang your art correctly.

The standard height that art should be hung is something like 57 inches from the floor, but I can never remember if that is from the bottom or the center of the piece. So I have a mnemonic device to help me remember, and it is this: center at sixty. That's easy enough, right? The center of your hanging should be right around 60 inches (conveniently, my personal height) from the floor. Now, if you have a piece of art that is 6 x 8 feet, things will obviously change, but it is a pretty good general rule of thumb. Check out this perfectly hung portrait:

via Lonny

Another thing to remember is the scale of your hanging. Are you hanging an 8 x 10-inch item in your living room, over your sofa? Maybe you should re-think that. Very few people can get away with it, although it can be done. My friend Lori Andrews is actually the master of this, but she is a professional and you should not attempt this trick without her assistance.

Photo by Lori Andrews

The rest of us need to make sure that the scale of our art is in line with the scale of our furniture. Go big. Even go overboard, as I did here, with this painting/settee combo:

Photo by Jen Siska

I'm not a big fan of gallery walls -- I'm much too much of a symmetrical girl for that. But if you must hang one, make sure it hangs BIG and LOW. (You be quiet, dirty.)

via Lonny, AGAIN

Oh, you don't like that "For Like Ever" poster? You think it's over? Fine. I don't love it either. But it looks great here, and the reason for that is because it is a) to scale, and b) hung at the correct height with a bunch of other awesome stuff.

One more tangentially-related thing: don't hang your mirrors horizontally. My boyfriend Nick Olsen also despises this, and you should too. See here for more information.

In sum: go get a shoe and lower those nails. You won't regret it.

AuthorAB Chao
CategoriesAdvice, dewit
24 CommentsPost a comment