Window Coverings – Do them myself or ask for help?

There is just something that happens to a room when window treatments are added.  They become the eye makeup to a window.  The room becomes friendly and people are pulled into the area like a hug.  Fabric softens the hard edges of a room.
For all of the effect, the cost can be intimidating.  And therefore, to make the window treatment more affordable, we look for ways to do some of the steps ourselves.  If you know what you are doing some of the steps are doable.  If you do not, then it is best to know where to find help.

There are FOUR PARTS to handling most window coverings:

  1. Fabric and design of the window treatment
  2. Hardware to hang the fabric
  3. Workmanship of the window treatment
  4. Installation onto the wall

Fabric – gorgeous fabrics in endless colors and patterns are available.  Some are best for panels.  Others are best for valences and padded cornices.  If you can find the fabric, just perfect for your room, we can help have them made and hung.  But if fabric contents and color combinations are confusing, we have many great sources in as many price ranges to take the mystery out of the choice;  the right fabric and a flattering design that will make your windows ” pop “.

Hardware – While valences and cornices do not require visable hardware, panels depend on rings, brackets and poles.  We have seen all variations and quite a few mistakes in choices.  One of the most common errors is the telescoping rod found in do-it-yourself departments.  At the end of the day, the panel may be longer on one side than the other.  We much prefer the rod that is cut to fit the window and know you will too.

Workmanship – Panels sold in packages are convenient with no waiting.  However, the length is usually too short and a single panel is too narrow.  If your windows ask for more width or length than standard, a custom panel is more cost effective……. and looks much more finished.

Installation – My husband, Dave, says that he is not paid for the bracket he installs, but for knowing where to put that bracket.  Some people know when to us a toggle and when a screw will do.  Others may not realize that there is a time to make the treatments  level to the ceiling and when to make them level to the window.  Installing treatments that are secure and level is truly a skill.

We are experienced and very helpful in all areas of window treatment — from design to installation.  Whatever part of the process you want to do on your own is fine.  But — we are available for all stages in creating the perfect fit for your decor.

Confessions of a “Nothing on the Windows” Man

Several years ago, we replaced all the original windows in our 1923 Cape Cod.  I spent many hours and hundreds of dollars trimming out the windows.  NOTHING was going to cover the great look of fine wood and carpentry.  We really like the clean and fresh feel of natural wood and glass.
For the past few years, I’ve been installing window treatments with my wife, Janee, for About the Home in Grand Ledge.  Time after time, we would see the warmth that tailored window coverings brought to a home.  The current style of fabric and hardware add character and definition to the windows and the room as well – Janeevery different from the excessive fabrics of our grandmothers.
Last summer, Janee and I designed panels on rings and rods that really complimented our windows.  They softened the edges of the rooms without hiding my valuable wood trim.
The result was a wonderful casual, homey feel.  What a difference well done window treatments make in a home.

Dave Penfield
Window Covering Installer

BEANS IN A CROCK POT (using Gourmet Valley Heritage Beans)

JaneeBeans in a crock-pot are the height of winter comfort food.
The French love a tender bean called FLAGEOLET.  They
may be difficult to find but About the Home features them.

Flageolet Beans with Rosemary and Thyme

6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 t. kosher salt
2 t. finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 in. diagonally
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped parsley, divided

1.  Put all ingredients, except parsley, in a 4 to 6 qt. slow cooker.  Add 5 c. boiling water and stir.
Cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and beans are very tender, 3 hours on
high or 4 1/2 hours on low.
2.  Stir in 3 T. parsley.  Transfer to serving dish and drizzle with more oil and parsley.
Serves 4 at 365 calories.
From Sunset Magazine

Lemon Curd by Robert Rothchild Farm

Our LEMON CURD is a wonderful staple. Here a just a few uses….

Cake Drizzle
Top warm gingerbread or toasted pound cake with scoops of
dulce de leche (carmel) ice cream and Lemon Curd.

Cloud Cake
Bake your favorite white cake batter in a 9×13 pan.
Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes.
Pierce top of cake every 1 1/2 inches, using the handle of a wooden spoon.
Spread a jar of Lemon Curd over the cake.
Cool completely; cover and chill 4 hours.
Frost top of cake with sweetened whipped cream.

Magic Filling
Fill layer cakes, cupcakes, or miniature tart shells with
Lemon Curd.

Lemon Eton Mess
Layer Lemon Curd, coarsely crushed meringue cookies. fresh berries and sweetened whipped cream in vintage parfait glasses.

Better Than Buttter
Spread Lemon Curd on hot biscuits, fresh blueberry muffins or
a basketful of croissants.  You can also mix with Greek yogurt to top a
coffee cake.

OOH – Sound Good?


Recipe of the Week …..


Mix 1 cup of CHeRiTH VaLLeY gardens “Hot ‘n Spicy” Corn Relish with 2T sour cream and serve with your favorite hores d’oeuvre cracker or chip.

Quick, easy and delicious for any occasion!

Recipe of the Week

Another great recipe from Janee ——-Janee

Wrapped Brie       Serves 8

1 box frozen puff pastry sheets
1-2 T. melted butter
1 4 1/2 oz. round of brie
3 T. Rothschild Spiced Raspberry Walnut Chutney
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking pan with aluminum foil. Brush foil with melted butter. Lay sheets of puff pastry as to hang over the sides of the pan. Place Brie in the center. Top with chutney, it may run down the side. Fold edges of puff pastry around Brie and twist on top. Brush outside with butter. Bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or till golden brown. Place on a serving slab and surround with crackers. Cut with a sharp knife.

Recipe of the Week by Janee Penfield

We are going to start sharing sJaneeome great recipes by:

Janee Penfield

Each recipe will include an ingredient that is available in our Gourmet Pantry.
What fun this will be. Try them – you are sure to be a hit with family and friends.

Spicy Chicken Peanut Skewers
Serves 8-10

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise into strips

Thai Peanut Ginger Sauce by Rothschild (13 oz. bottle)

package of wooden skewers, about 4 to 6 in. long

In a medium bowl, place sliced chicken. Add about 3/4 of the
bottle of Thai Peanut Ginger Sauce. Cover and refrigerate
several hours or overnight.

Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from
marinade, reserving marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers
in a zig-zag fashion, using no more than 2 strips per skewer.

Prepare charcoal grill or preheat broiler. Place skewers in a
shallow baking pan and broil or grill over hot coals for 2-4
minutes on each side, basting often with reserved marinade.

Place skewers in a circle on a serving platter. Garnish with
coriander leaves (cilantro). Place a small bowl of the rest
of the Thai Peanut Ginger Sauce in the center of the platter.
Serve immediately.

Enjoy Christmas Shopping at About the Home

We would like to invite you to visit our store for your Holiday shopping needs. As you may already know, we stock unique one of a kind gifts and home decor accessories.
Our store is very festive this time of year and will put you in the Holiday spirit as soon as you enter our door.
Our staff is ready and waiting to assist. Remember, we offer complimentary gift wrapping if you find something that you wish to keep a secret or you simply do not have time to wrap yourself.
We will keep a “wish list” for you, if you find something you really want from Santa as suggestions for your friends or family.
“Home Decor – Savings Galore” – see our ad on WILX Channel 10.
We have spots on some of your favorite shows: Live with Kelly & Michael, Rachel Ray, Dr. Oz, Jeopardy & the Saturday Today Show.
See you soon !

November Begins Holiday Celebrations

We just love November – Our Holiday Open House is always a fun and festive way to start the Season.
Our Postcard is on it’s way – watch for it! Remember it doubles as a 20% off coupon, good on one regular priced item – and better yet – it never expires.
Check out our website for other special offers – Fall Decor, DaVinci Beads, Lampe Berger and our Gourmet Pantry. See you Soon!!

Halloween and Fall are Our Focus This Month


With the change in season, we all like to bring these vibrant colors into our living space.
We have many beautiful new Fall items to offer. Don’t miss out on our fun Halloween decorations either.
This month we have a special page on our website with recipes for entertaining during this season. They are unique and very tasty.

We are offering a coupon on our website this month:
Purchase 1 Fall or Halloween item at regular price and
receive the 2nd item of equal or lesser value at 50% off.
You must print the coupon from our website.