Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lynden Luxury using Ado's Trim Collection

Lynden is a spotless little town nestled between the foothills and the Pacific waters. Dairy herds dot the countryside; raspberry fields march in ordered rows up and down gentle slopes; the people are hardworking and friendly. And some own beautiful homes that cry out for that finishing touch - gorgeous draperies. Late last year one such homeowner came calling. Her formal parlor and dining room needed to be dressed up before the Christmas season.

The rooms and windows mirrored each other, on either side of a formal entry hall; two tall, narrow windows separated by wall in each room. Because the rooms were visible to each other and from other areas of the home, we decided to install identical treatments in both rooms. The client wished to have sheers with drape panels which could close as well as a top treatment, all hand traversed for that "luxury hotel" feel.

The fabric which was chosen for the panels and top treatment was a rich wine faux silk, pin dotted with a raised gold swirl. The simple cream sheers underneath were a perfect complement. The swagged top treatments were trimmed with a four-inch gold and wine bullion from Ado's trim collection. The floor-length panels were gently held back with a single tassel tieback from the same collection.

These window treatments evoke visions of ballgowns from a by-gone era, gathered softly and glistening in candlelight. Light spills from the rich silken folds and gleams on the tassels and trim. Beauty and elegance, to provide that finishing touch for a beautiful home in this corner of God's creation.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Window Challenges

Last year Camano Island homeowners presented me with a real challenge. One wall of the great room of their home perched high on a hill is composed of a series of three arched, stacked picture windows looking out on a gorgeous vista of islands dotting the peaceful waters below. The room faces south and on a sunny day light fills the space. The existing shadings were simply inadequate; the homeowners desired a fabric treatment that would soften and beautify the room as well as add another layer to help control the amount of light coming in.

I was to treat the 6 bottom rectangular windows; 3 side by side, stacked in 2 rows. A 4 foot window next to a 6 foot window next to a 4 foot window, separated by narrow 8 inch strips of wall, with only 8 inches of wall at each end. Not much room to stack any draperies!

The homeowners initially desired a hand-traversing custom iron rod, color matched to existing ironwork in the home. After discussions with the hardware supplier, installer, homeowners and myself, a much better solution for these 15 foot high windows was found - The Kirsch Estate Rod, with 3 separate cord traverse rods, one opening left, one right, and one center opening. The wood fascia was one continuous 17 foot long rod, custom stained to match the ironwork.

We needed to be very careful with the fabric that was chosen. Because there was so little room to stack drapes on either side of the windows we chose a semi-sheer unlined Ado fabric which was beautiful both on the face side and the reverse. The homeowners wanted a striped fabric which was not available so we created a wide stripe using two colors of the same fabric and minimal seaming. This took some math skills working out stripe sizes so that the stripes looked even although the drapes panels were not the same sizes! Kudo's to my skilled workroom seamstress - that was a lot of seaming! Ado's Eurohem was a clean and contemporary look to finish the bottom.

Each 4' window had its own panel that stacked onto the wall; the center window had one drape pair that mainly stacked onto the very small 8" wall separating the windows. This was a very good solution to allowing as much of the windows to remain open to the view as possible while making it easy for the homeowners to operate.

Once again, digital photography and the DreamDraper software was invaluable. I took photos of the room and designed unlined pinchpleated Ado draperies for the windows. The color renderings helped the homeowners visualize how the final project would appear. And my installer Tom was the other key component to making this project come together, can I say it, seamlessly!

The homeowners were wonderful to work with. I went on to complete draperies for two other rooms of their home, blackout drapes and cornices for their master bedroom and media room. They remained patient in the face of what seems to be almost inevitable delays nowadays for fabrics, hardware and trim.

And the end product - gorgeous window coverings to enhance a spectacular home with a magnificent view!