OUR CUSHIONS HAVE MADE THE BIG TIME: MIKE WOLFE ON THE COVER OF “NASHVILLE LIFESTYLES”

OK, who out there loves to watch “American Pickers” on the History Channel?  We call across the house,   “Hey, American Pickers is on!”   I just love to see people’s junky barns, and I’m always amazed at the treasures that Mike and Frank find (they don’t know it, but we’re on a first name basis).  And we talk to the TV saying things like, “Come on, you’ve gotta sell that!  Get rid of some of your stuff, for Pete’s sake!”

American Pickers: Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, photo found on Google

American Pickers: Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, photo found on Google

Anyway, it was a happy day when Alex Cirimelli, proprietress of Serenite’ Maison in Leipers Fork, TN asked me to come with her to measure for cushions for Mike Wolfe’s kitchen banquette.  The cushions had to be custom cut and made because of their unusual size and shape.  This banquette is the gathering place for meals and much laughter, so Alex chose gray linen for the cushions and back pillows to give the nook a calm and earthy look, going well with the various collections and industrial atmosphere.

When Alex let me know that Mike Wolfe is on the March 2013 cover of Nashville LifeStyles Magazine,and that our cushions were shown too (on page 40-41 to be exact), I was thrilled and just had to share them with you.

Mike Wolfe on the Cover of Nashville LifeStyles Magazine, March 2013, Photo by Kristin Barlowe

Mike Wolfe on the Cover of Nashville LifeStyles Magazine, March 2013,
Photo by Kristin Barlowe

So, our cushions have hit the Big Time! What do you think?  Huh?

Mike Wolfe at home, sitting on some nifty cushions, made by Camille Moore Window Treatments & Custom Bedding! Photo by Kirstin Barlowe

Mike Wolfe at home, sitting on some nifty cushions, made by Camille Moore Window Treatments & Custom Bedding! Photo by Kirstin Barlowe

LINEN ENVY: WINDOW TREATMENTS & ROMAN SHADES, PART 1

Anyone who’s known me for very long knows that I love linen.  I like to wear it and I especially love to make window treatments, pillows, bedding using linen.  So when Lori Paranjape of Redo Home & Design asked me to help her with a new client using all linen fabrics, I was in hog heaven!

The clients had recently purchased this beautiful home and it needed personalizing and updating. We’ll look at the Living Room today.

In the Living Room, Lori Paranjape’s first challenge was this expansive wall and window.  Her vision was to bring the eye down.  She didn’t want to treat the entire window up to the ceiling, but instead wanted to “cozy up” the space.

Here’s a “Before” of the Living Room:

Lori added wainscoting to the wall and had the doors, windows and wainscot all painted in the same oil finish to add detail, unify the wall and add dimension.

The wall color, chandelier, art work, most of the furniture and the window treatments are all new. I’m loving the interest on the backs of the chairs as you enter the house.  A theme which continues to the sofa’s Greek Key banding, the clover shaped ottoman, the monogrammed lumbar pillows, chandelier and finally to the window treatments.

Now a closer look at the draperies and Relaxed Roman Shades.  (And see how the wainscoting gives the whole wall definition?)  The fabric is by Fabricut, a geometric taupe print on creamy white linen.   The Romans are the same creamy color as the background from the drapery fabric. Lori wanted a thinner than usual iron rod, so I ordered the custom hardware (made by ironsmith Kris Nethercutt of Franklin) as one continuous 3/4″ iron rod across the wall with brackets hidden behind the drapery panels for a clean look.  The hardware wraps to the wall with a French Bracket, so no finials were needed.  We lined and interlined the window treatments, hand hemming the side seams for a luxurious drape.  Ball fringe was added to the leading edges of the curtains and bottom of Romans to unify the two and add a touch of detail.

Detail of the ball fringe

Detail of the ball fringe

I hope you enjoyed our tour of this lovely Living Room.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you!

BEAUTIFUL DOUBLE BANDING ON DRAPERIES & CURTAINS

I    L O V E   design details on draperies and curtains.  I’ve been making custom window treatments and bedding for over 23 years, so when I get a challenging project it thrills me. Chelsea Frazer – Allied ASID, of Nashville TN, and I have worked together on several projects. Chelsea asked us to fabricate creamy silk panels with two bandings, lined and interlined with a traditional pleat.  Last week was the week to install them.  Look at this fabulous Schumacher creamy silk with not one band, but two.  We treated the deep red silk band as a 1/2″ flange, next to the 2″ green banding, mitering the corners.  The colors perfectly pick up the colors in this open and traditional room.

Silk Draperies with Double Banding

Silk Draperies with Double Banding

Double Banded Silk Curtains

Double Banded Silk Curtains

And here’s a closer view:

Closer View, Double Banded Silk Curtains

Closer View, Double Banded Silk Curtains

The draperies were made to “break” at the floor, so I added about an inch to the finished length. This additional length gives the look of a man’s cuff.  I like this length because it give an opulent look, without going overboard. I like how Chelsea Frazer blended beauty with function.  This particular client has pets and she was hesitant to use solid creamy silk draperies.  Chelsea came up with this double banded idea, carrying the banding around to the bottom of the curtains, too. The banding connects the colors of the room to the window, in a light and airy way. Do you have design details that you’d like to share with me?  I’d love to see them!  Or, if you’re a designer or individual and you need help with window treatments, feel free to Contact Me to discuss.

DRAPERIES FOR TWO STORY WINDOWS

This week we installed window treatments in two different homes, 30 miles apart, both with two story draperies and also installed treatments over kitchen sinks.  I love how each home has its unique style.

Monday was the day to install linen embroidered sheers which were interlined and lined with white linings. The look is luxurious with the two linings behind sheer fabric.

Sheer Embroidered Linen

Sheer Embroidered Linen

I have certainly enjoyed working with a Redo Home & Design designer, Christine Kaufman. She’s a doll and has beautiful taste.  I like how she chose these C.R. Laine Copley chairs placed in front of the draperies.  The client’s room is large and the chairs are in keeping with the scale of the room. We used 1-1/5″ single pleats @ 8″ long; a balanced look on this tall window.  Christine chose 2″ wood hardware, color “Antique Copper”, which picks up the homeowner’s copper touches in this Great Room and Kitchen alike.

Two Story Sheers, lined and interlined

Two Story Sheers, lined and interlined

Over the kitchen sink, Christine chose a Flat Roman Shade, using tucked linen which we lined in white lining, banded with a wide flat bird-egg blue trim.  The look is clean and I love this attention to detail.  (Excuse the not-quite-focused photo!)

Flat Roman Shade made with tucked linen, banding trim along bottom edge

Flat Roman Shade made with tucked linen, banding trim along bottom edge

The treatments we installed Tuesday were made of off-white fabric which has a slight sheen.  This fabric makes a fabulous welcome to the homeowners and visitors alike.  Bright sunlight is a problem for this room during the summer months, so we chose a decorative traverse rod and rings for easy function while keeping a beautiful look, using “Bronzed” wood hardware to compliment the color of the chandelier.

Two story draperies with 8" Kiss Pleats

Two story draperies with 8" Kiss Pleats

We chose the updated, 8″ long “Kiss Pleat” in keeping with the scale of the draperies and height of the room.  For a “normal sized” window, pleats are usually 4″ long.  Here is a closer view of the pleats.

Closer View of 8" Kiss Pleats

Closer View of 8" Kiss Pleats

Striped linen sheers are a welcome compliment in the kitchen.  We pleated the sheers according to the darker stripes for an added custom detail … which you can’t see in this picture, but I swear is there.

Striped Linen Sheers, Pleated on Every Other Stripe

Striped Linen Sheers, Pleated on Every Other Stripe

Leave your comment below.  I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas or  Contact me if I can help you with two story windows … or kitchen windows … or … other interior treatment needs!

TOP TEN WINDOW TREATMENTS OF 2012

Each year I highlight 10 treatments that we fabricated for clients from the previous year.   2012 was a year of experimenting with embellishments and focusing on detail.  I hope you enjoy these offerings.   Leave a comment to let me know which one(s) you like!

1)  PATTERN MATCHING FOR A SMOOTH, CUSTOM DESIGN:  Carolyn Campbell of Carolyn Campbell Interiors designed this cheery kitchen window treatment.  The fabric is  hand-printed.   Carolyn came to our workroom when it was time to decide on the design of the valance.  After playing with several options, a simple box pleated valance with perfect pattern matching was chosen.  LuLu and Holly like their new window treatments!

LuLu and Holly Enjoying Their New Window Treatments by Carolyn Campbell Interiors

LuLu and Holly Enjoying Their New Window Treatments by Carolyn Campbell Interiors

Figuring out Design and Placement Takes Patience and Trial & Error

Figuring out Design and Placement Takes Patience and Trial & Error

2)  BOX PLEATED SHOWER CURTAIN WITH SILK ROUCHING:   Here is a new way we’ve been making shower curtains.  We install a small grommet in the back of the box pleat and the shower ring fits into the grommet for a clean, smooth look.  We learned the hand-gathered silk rouching technique when we took Leslie Fehling’s High End Embellishment Workshop in Pennsylvania.  This rouching took about 2.5 hours to make and attach.

Shower Curtain with Inverted Box Pleats and Silk Rouching, Design by Camille Moore

Shower Curtain with Inverted Box Pleats and Silk Rouching, Design by Camille Moore

Close Up of Silk Rouching

Close Up of Silk Rouching

3)  DOUBLE BANDED SILK DRAPERIES:   These “French Vanilla” Silk draperies have a 2″ sage green banding and a 1/2″ burgundy flange with mitered corners.  These curtains are lined, interlined, hand hemmed and pleated.  Chelsea Frazer, Allied ASID is the designer for this project.

Silk Draperies with Double Banding, Design by Chelsea Frazer

Silk Draperies with Double Banding, Design by Chelsea Frazer

Detail of Double Banding, Design by Chelsea Fraze

Detail of Double Banding, Design by Chelsea Fraze

4)  CUSTOM-MADE HORIZONTAL STRIPED LINEN CURTAINS WITH GROMMETS:  For this boy’s room, designer Mitzi Maynard, owner of Redo Home & Design, wanted to bring in the favorite color of red yet keeping with the look of his favorite pillow.  Mitzi specified that a 4″ top stripe would be the perfect accent with grommets inserted in the center of the stripe.  We sewed together the white and red linen fabrics for one-of-a-kind curtains, adding blackout lining and hand hemming.

Custom Made Striped Linen Curtains, Design by Mitzi Maynar

Custom Made Striped Linen Curtains, Design by Mitzi Maynar

5)  PILLOWS WITH CELTIC BANDING DETAIL:  This year we had the opportunity to make two different styles of Celtic Banded Pillows.  The first pillow is made with Schumacher “Blanc” Silk, boxed and piped with a micro self-welting.  The silk banding is made with RM CoCo’s Silk “Walnut” and what I love about this one is that the pattern continues on the boxed portion of the pillow.  The back is also treated with the same design.  We entered one of these pillows in the Silent Auction at the Annual ASID State Conference and the lucky winner was Jennifer Jones, Allied ASID.

Boxed Pillow with Celtic Banding, Design by Camille Moore

Boxed Pillow with Celtic Banding, Design by Camille Moore

These linen pillows with linen Celtic banding are a modified design taken from a pillow we saw on Mrs. Phoebe Howard’s website.

Linen Pillows with Celtic Banding, Design by Camille Moore

Linen Pillows with Celtic Banding, Design by Camille Moore

6)  RELAXED LONDON SHADE and SHAPED CORNICE:  Christine Kaufman designed both the Relaxed London Shade and the Shaped Cornice with Nail Head Trim (below).  The Relaxed Roman was made with a beautifully embroidered sheer linen, lined and interlined in white.   It looks fabulous over the pedestal bath tub.

Relaxed London Shade, Design by Christine Kaufman

Relaxed London Shade, Design by Christine Kaufman

Christine Kaufman also designed this Sitting Room, along with the Cornices.  I love the 3/4″ brushed nickel nail head detail.  Don’t ask me how many nail heads got bent while hammering them into place and had to be tossed!

7)  CONTEMPORARY FAUX SILK CURTAINS:  Mitzi Maynard designed these gray faux silk, blackout lined curtains to be installed behind the exposed duct work.  There was a maximum of 3″ clearance on the left side and about 5″ on the right.  The installer had to bring in his speciality equipment to get this installed, but it was worth it.

Contemporary Faux Silk Curtains, Design by Mitzi Maynard

Contemporary Faux Silk Curtains, Design by Mitzi Maynard

8)  This client wanted silk draperies to accent their eyebrow arched dining room window.  After sketching a few ideas and presenting two computer software renderings (see Storyboard rendering below), they chose this design of full draperies with relaxed top, swept back on holdbacks and puddling on the floor.  The luscious RM CoCo silk was interlined, lined with a neutral putty-color lining, hand hemmed and installed on Paris TX drapery hardware.

Silk Draperies with Relaxed Top and Swept Back, Design by Camille Moore

Silk Draperies with Relaxed Top and Swept Back, Design by Camille Moore

Dining Room Storyboard, Design by Camille Moore

9)  SLIPCOVERING CHAIRS:  2012 was a year for making several slipcovers.  Here are two that we made.  The first one, designed by Kathleen Evers, was made for the 2012 Parade of Homes.  She specified a small flange for the cushion instead of piping, and ties at the corners where the skirt started.

White Cotton Slipcover, Design by Kathleen Evers, Workroom: Camille Moore Interior Treatments

White Cotton Slipcover, Design by Kathleen Evers, Workroom: Camille Moore Interior Treatments

These armed Parson’s chairs were designed by Dana Goodman.  We centered the pattern and matched patterns at the skirt, etc.

Slipcovers for Parson Chairs. Design: Dana Goodman, Workroom: Camille Moore Window Treatments & Custom Bedding

Slipcovers for Parson Chairs. Design: Dana Goodman, Workroom: Camille Moore Window Treatments & Custom Bedding

10)  SELF-LINED SHEER LINEN:  These self-lined linen sheers were designed by Chelsea Frazer, installed on ceiling track and split into six panels for ease of controlling light and heat.  The whole look of the Gallery changes as the diffused light casts a cool haze over the space.

Sheer Linen, Design by Chelsea Frazer

Sheer Linen, Design by Chelsea Frazer

Here’s a “Before” photo.  This gallery was impossibly hot for the homeowners.  These self-lined sheers offer a remarkable ethereal feeling and the temperature is now pleasant!

“Before” Sheer Linen, Design by Chelsea Frazer

“Before” Sheer Linen, Design by Chelsea Frazer

I hope you enjoyed our look back to 2012’s Top 10 design projects.  Let me know if you have any questions or let me know your favorite design.

CURTAIN LENGTH: PUDDLE, BREAK, JUST TOUCHING OR OFF OF THE FLOOR?

Clients often ask me “what’s the normal curtain or drapery length?”  We’ve all seen the extremes from too short vs massive puddle.

Puddles, in the right environment and at the correct window, make a dramatic, formal statement. This is a fabulous example of an overstated puddle done right.  (I tried to find the original source for the photo, but gave up after many attempts.  If you know whose photo this is, let me know. They deserve credit!)

Dramatic Drapery with large puddle, Source Unknown

Dramatic Drapery with large puddle, Source Unknown

Here’s an example of curtains which are too short.

“Mount curtains as high as possible to give the room more height, and let them break 1½ inches on the floor.”
—Miles Redd

But those are the extremes.  What about the other 95 percent of the window treatments? I work with many designers and individual clients.  About 75% of the time, we add about an inch to the finished length for a “break” at the floor, similar to a man’s pant cuff.  Here in America, we don’t have to worry as much about drafty houses as the Europeans.  But we take our cue from Europe by adding enough length to the curtains to look voluptuous and custom made.  I often hold a piece of fabric  to the floor and let it touch and relax on the floor to help clients visualize their favorite length in their own home, and to see how much break they want.  A “Break” can be anywhere from 1/2″ to 2″ and is the look that you see most often in magazines, Pintrest and design blogs.  With the “Break” you will see buckling at the end of the curtain and hemline.

Silk Draperies with 1″ Break, Design by Chelsea Frazer, Allied ASID, Workroom: Camille Moore Interior Treatments

Silk Draperies with 1″ Break, Design by Chelsea Frazer, Allied ASID, Workroom: Camille Moore Interior Treatments

Silk Draperies with 1″ Break on Floor

Silk Draperies with 1″ Break on Floor

There are a smaller percent of clients who do not want the curtains to touch the floor at all.  They may have pets or children, or simply do not like the “look”.  For these clients, I usually suggest “just touching” or “grazing” the floor.  I like this effect as well, it’s very custom and the draperies hang very nicely with no buckling in the hemline, like the 1″ break.

Celtic Banded Linen Curtains, Just Touching Floor. Design by Camille Moore, Workroom: Camille Moore Window Treatments

Celtic Banded Linen Curtains, Just Touching Floor. Design by Camille Moore, Workroom: Camille Moore Window Treatments

If you do not like the draperies to touch the floor at all, here is what having the curtains installed 3/8″ to 1/2″ off of the floor will look like.  When needing your curtains or draperies to open and close each day, this is a fabulous option.

Linen Draperies, 3/8″ off of floor. Installed on Beautiful Operational Wood Traverse Track. Design: Camille Moore, Workroom: Camille Moore Window Treatments

Linen Draperies, 3/8″ off of floor. Installed on Beautiful Operational Wood Traverse Track. Design: Camille Moore, Workroom: Camille Moore Window Treatments

How do you like your curtain and drapery to meet the floor?  Leave a comment below; I’d love your opinion!

DIY & READY MADE CURTAINS VS CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENTS: ADVICE FOR THE DIY CURTAIN

A potential client recently asked, “I would like draperies for my home.  Do I need custom curtains/draperies, or can I go to the Mall to buy curtains?”

I run into this question occasionally, and thought I’d address it here.

It depends on your windows, your design needs and your budget.  I’ve seen really pretty draperies atRestoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.  If the height of your ceiling to floor, or at least 4-6″ of wall space above the window, falls within the finished lengths provided, then they can look nice. Many houses have very tall ceilings and very wide windows; in that case ready made draperies or curtains are not a possibility.

Where to hang drapery rod?

I’ve been fabricating custom, hand made window treatments for 22 years. Even though I’m biased toward custom draperies, I’ve also helped clients with ready made curtains when the need arises. I’m working with a man now who lives in Nashville part time and wants to dress up his apartment without spending a bundle, so he has hired me to purchase the right length, right color, right hardware — store bought variety.

Awful Blue Curtains, much too short

Awful Blue Curtains, much too short

Curtain length is very important since a big visual difference between custom and ready made is length.   I found this photo on Google Images, but I really have seen curtains this short in homes.

 

CORRECT PLACEMENT OF DRAPERIES:

-hanging right at the floor, 1/4-1/2″ off of floor

-barely touching

– 1/2 – 1″ on the floor to break, like a man’s cuff

-or 2″ – 4″ to puddle, or more.

A dead give away that the draperies are ready made (store bought) is if they are too short.

White curtains, installed too low, too short

White curtains, installed too low, too short

These white curtains are a perfect example of “pretty, but not quite right”.  As discussed, these are not long enough.  More than a 1/2″ off of the floor, and curtains look too short.  I would rather see 1/8-1/4″ off of the floor, preferably barely touching. But worse than the fact that these curtains are an inch or more off of the floor is that they’re hung too close to the window molding.  You don’t want to hang the rod on or at the molding, for a custom look.  (Of course, there are are special circumstances when we need to bend the rules.)  This window has plenty of space to install the rod well above the window.  The rule of thumb is to hang the rod no closer than 4-6″ above the molding, and preferably at the crown.  Some of the designers with whom I work like to install the drapery hardware 2-4″ below the crown if the ceilings are very high.  That’s a beautiful look as well.

Below are custom draperies made in the correct proportion.  I want you to see the difference. These bedrooms and draperies were designed by Carolyn Campbell of Nashville TN and we fabricated them.

Draperies installed below the crown, 2" puddle

Draperies installed below the crown, 2" puddle

Red Velvet draperies, installed at crown molding with 2" puddle

Red Velvet draperies, installed at crown molding with 2" puddle

Here is a Pottery Barn drapery which has been installed correctly and the room looks wonderful. (I got this photo from Google Images and I can’t figure out how to make this photo larger.)

Perfectly Installed Pottery Barn Draperies

Perfectly Installed Pottery Barn Draperies

Good luck and happy decorating!

TOP 10 CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENT PROJECTS IN 2011

Carolyn Campbell and Camille Moore with Custom Bedding. Design: Carolyn Campbell. Workroom: Camille Moore Interior Treatments

Carolyn Campbell and Camille Moore with Custom Bedding. Design: Carolyn Campbell. Workroom: Camille Moore Interior Treatments

In 2011, our studio was filled with a wide variety of treatments.  We fabricated updated swags to slipcovers, silk balloon shades to silk draperies, linen bedding and headboards to intricate drapery panels.  I’ll share 10 of these projects with you.  Keep in mind that I am not the best photographer and sometimes forget my camera, so I’ve missed out on photographing some of the treatments.  But you’re in for a treat with the photos that I’ve chosen for this article.

Below are photos from three different rooms, designed by Carolyn Campbell of Carolyn Campbell Interiors.  I so enjoyed working with Carolyn and working with her delightful client. The fabrics they chose were tactile heaven.

 

Guest Bedroom with Silk Goblet draperies, hand sewn sheers, bedding

Guest Bedroom with Silk Goblet draperies, hand sewn sheers, bedding

Bedroom with Black and Silver Draperies

Bedroom with Black and Silver Draperies

Daughter’s Bedroom with Silk Draperies, Silk Satin Pettiskirt & Pillows

Daughter’s Bedroom with Silk Draperies, Silk Satin Pettiskirt & Pillows

Switching gears, the next project was designed by Mitzi Maynard of Redo Home & Design. Mitzi chose Mexican coffee sacks for the Roman shades in a teenage boy’s bedroom and Media Room. I took the sacks outside to shake out the loose fibers and stray coffee beans, and to cut the sides apart. My dog, Lucy, chose her favorite sack and took a little nap.  She’s so helpful! Coffee sacks are not for the faint of heart or the OCD client.  There are little tears, un-centered designs, and smudges to deal with.  But for the free spirit, coffee sacks hit the spot!

 

Preparing Coffee Sacks for Roman Shades, Lucy chose her favorite Sack

Preparing Coffee Sacks for Roman Shades, Lucy chose her favorite Sack

Roman Shades made from Coffee Sacks.  These wider Romans require two sacks each.

Roman Shades made from Coffee Sacks.  These wider Romans require two sacks each.

Coffee Sack Roman Shade

Coffee Sack Roman Shade

The next two projects were designed by Elisha May of Redo Home & Design.  Elisha ordered slipcovers and window treatments for these projects.  I always love working with the fabrics that Elisha chooses.

Parson Chair Slipcovers with Contrast Banding

Parson Chair Slipcovers with Contrast Banding

Kitchen with new Valances, Cafe’ Curtains, Slipcovers & Stool Cushions

Kitchen with new Valances, Cafe’ Curtains, Slipcovers & Stool Cushions

In another home, Elisha ordered updated Slipcovers for Parson’s Chairs.  This fabric is from Vervain and was backordered for one year; worth the wait!

 

Slipcovered Parson’s Chair

Slipcovered Parson’s Chair

Lori Paranjape of Redo Home & Design asked us to fabricate some challenging treatments. Here are two of the rooms that were our pleasure to make.  And talk about yummy fabrics … !

 

Silk Striped Swag with Fringe, Silk Draperies, Shams & Silk Pillow

Silk Striped Swag with Fringe, Silk Draperies, Shams & Silk Pillow

Gold Painted Linen Valance and Draperies

Gold Painted Linen Valance and Draperies

The next photo is of a “Beachy Bedroom”.  My client’s son painted an awesome painting that reminded him of their home at the beach.  The bedroom was borne from that painting.  I really enjoyed this project; my favorite personal style.  I purchased all of the linen fabric through RM CoCo.

 

Beachy Bedroom: Hunter Douglas “Adelaide” Bamboo Shade, Linen Curtains with D’Kei Sea Shell Trim, Linen Window Seat Cushion and Pillows

Beachy Bedroom: Hunter Douglas “Adelaide” Bamboo Shade, Linen Curtains with D’Kei Sea Shell Trim, Linen Window Seat Cushion and Pillows

And last but not least, I had the pleasure of working with a client whom I have not seen in a couple of years.  This silk Balloon Shade was the perfect choice for the master bath.  We lined and interlined the shade and added beaded trim.  Lovely!

Silk Balloon Shade with Beaded Trim

Silk Balloon Shade with Beaded Trim

Do you have a favorite project or idea that you’d like to share?  Leave a comment or question below.

THE MAKING OF A CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENT: SWEPT UP SWAG

Sumptuous Master Bedroom

Sumptuous Master Bedroom

When asked to fabricate the window treatment for this master bedroom, designer Lori Paranjape ofRedo Home & Design emailed a photo to me.  The photo showed a treatment that had a lot of promise, but needed updating.  We discussed the ways it needed to be tweaked in order to make the treatment work.   The original valance was made out of stiffer fabric.  We definitely wanted this one to be supple and flowing, so Lori chose this beautiful striped silk, which we lined and interlined.  The proportions would, of course, need to be changed to fit the larger space.  My friend, Scot Robbins, is a master swag-maker since he sells the Parkhill Royale Swag System and knows swags inside and out.  I spent some time trying to make a swag pattern out of lining using my Parkhill System, but wasn’t happy with my proportions.  So I contacted Scot and he figured out the necessary pattern and the results are stunning.  (Thank you Scot!)

Here is the original sketch and measurements that I sent to Scot.

Original sketch of Swept Up Swag

Original sketch of Swept Up Swag

The original “idea photo” with fabric swatches during the “Master Bedroom” meeting:

You will see that the original photo and sketch had an attached jabot in the center of the swags.  When actually putting a treatment together, sometimes a design is tweaked at the last minute.  That’s what happened here.  The jabot was too heavy and fussy, so we decided to leave it off of the treatment.  Ahhh, it looks so much better without it!

ADDING THE COLOR “BLUE” IN INTERIOR DESIGN WITH CUSTOM PILLOWS AND PAINTINGS

Custom Pillows made from Antique French Ticking & Vera Neumann Dish Towels

Custom Pillows made from Antique French Ticking & Vera Neumann Dish Towels

Ever since I can remember, blue has been my favorite color.  Every bedroom that I got to help decorate as a child and teenager had blue bedding.  Today, it reminds me of well worn jeans, sea glass, French painted doors, my children’s eyes.  You get the picture; my love for blue runs deep. It’s no wonder that I gravitate toward blue in decorating my own home and feel most comfortable in its presence.  So here’s my ode to blue.

Painting by Carol Marine, “3 Yellow Wildflowers”

Painting by Carol Marine, “3 Yellow Wildflowers”

I’ve been following artist, Carol Marine for a few years.  I found her paintings on eBay in 2008. Here’s another one that I like for its simplicity and contrast.

Artist = Carol Marine “Just You and Me”

Artist = Carol Marine “Just You and Me”

A favorite local artist, whose work I have admired and followed for years, is David Arms. David and I worked at Miss Daisy’s Tea Room in Green Hills at least 100 years ago.  Here is one of my favorite pieces of his work.  I found this photo on Pinterest.

Artist: David Arms, Painting: “Be Still And Know”

Artist: David Arms, Painting: “Be Still And Know”

My love for textiles also runs deep.  I like to combine vintage linens with my love for blue.  I have a “thang” for vintage Vera Neumann linens and tea towels.  You will see two such tea towels made into pillows on my sofa, below.  The indigo cross stitched pillow is a treasure that I found at an antique show.  I almost hugged the 100 year old (plus) French ticking when I saw it and couldn’t wait to make it into pillows.  The vintage painting is perfect above the sofa .. in my humble opinion.

What’s your favorite color to decorate with?  I’d love to hear from you .. and how you use color to work for you.

We make slipcovers, pillows, custom window treatments, custom bedding.  If you need help with your projects, we’ll be happy to help!  We work with designers, too.

CELTIC DESIGN PILLOWS WITH A TWIST: ODE TO MRS PHOEBE HOWARD

I just love adding design details when the occasion arises.  If I have to copy someone else’s design, so be it.  In this case, I fell madly in love with a pillow that I saw on Mrs. Howard’s Personal Shopper blog, dated January 25, 2012, entitled “Quick Change: Blue and White“.   Phoebe Howard is a fantastic Southern (US) designer; I have followed her in magazines and online for years.  Mrs. Howard was recently interviewed on the “Skirted Roundtable” and another of my fave designers, Joni Webb, just posted about Mrs. Phoebe Howard on her blog, Cote De Texas.  Click here to read a fabulous interview with Mrs. Howard.

Ahhh, but my point is that I admire a pillow that I found on Mrs. Howard’s website.  Here is Mrs. Howard’s pillow, in navy Celtic detail on white linen.  This pillow lists for $290 and is 22″ square. Doesn’t it take your breath away?

Celtic Pillow by Phoebe Howard Personal Shopper

Here is our rendition.  
Tan linen Celtic detail on white linen, 22″ square.

Celtic Design Pillow with Tan Detail on White Linen

Leave a comment here to let me know what you think and what other designs that I need to know about!

COMPUTER SOFTWARE MEETS OLD WORLD DRAPERIES

Computer software even helps the drapery industry.  I’ve always sketched out ideas on paper or shown magazine photos to help clients visualize window treatments.  But last summer I took a drapery software course from “Minutes Matter Studio Software” and now I am able to offer ideas through software renderings.

I met with a new client in February.  We agreed on design ideas, she picked beautiful fabrics and hardware.   Sometimes it’s hard for a client to visualize the end result.  In this case, her husband was unable to meet with us, so it was nice to be able to send renderings of the ideas that we’d discussed and gotten excited about.  Using photos of my clients’ actual home, I superimposed window treatments on top of the photo to give a better idea of how the treatments would look.

I want to share the renderings with you and also photos of the actual treatments, which were installed recently.

Dining Room Idea, using Studio’s StoryBoard Software

We felt that the beautiful eyebrow arched window would look lovely with “Desert” silk draperies, lined and interlined, installed on wood hardware which closely matched the dining room table, and pulled back to add a romantic touch to the room.  Below is a photo of the finished window treatment for the dining room.

Silk Draperies, Pulled Back on Arched Window in Dining Room

The second StoryBoard was for curtains over two French doors.  Here’s the rendering:

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Living Room Storyboard

And now for the finished curtains, using “Parchment” Linen.  My camera lens made the ceiling and iron hardware look bowed … it’s not … it’s laser straight!  Sorry for the awkward illusion.

Linen curtains over French Doors

So there you have it.  Custom made curtains, made the way they were made decades ago, meets modern day computer software!

Leave your comment, I’d love to hear from you!

DAVE RAMSEY’S ENTRELEADERSHIP: CAMILLE MOORE IN THE SPOTLIGHT

About 7 years ago, I took the EntreLeadership Seminar.  I was recently asked by the Dave Ramsey Team what I learned from taking the EntreLeadership course.   Here’s an excerpt from the online interview:

What I Do

I’m the owner of Interior Treatments by Camille Moore in the Nashville, Tennessee area. I design and fabricate custom window treatments for homes and offices.

My Biggest Decision as a Leader

I have a small, custom window-treatment business, and I used to do everything myself. I wore all of the hats. When I finally hired a top-notch master seamstress to help me with the sewing aspect of it, my business grew. I was given the much-needed time to design and network, cultivating more clients.

A Characteristic Every Leader Should Possess

Being a visionary is important: thinking bigger than where you are today and arming yourself for the next step.

My Best Leadership Advice

Educate yourself in your field. Become an expert in what you love most. Read, gather information, and fall in love even more with your field of interest. Try not to get overwhelmed, because there is a lot of information out there. Just take small bites at a time and enjoy the process. Wouldn’t we all follow someone who loves their work? Keep working hard in the day-to-day, but prepare for growth. For me, taking theEntreLeadership course was a turning point in my business. It’s a crash course in leadership!

My Mentor

Dave really has been my top mentor since the 1990s, when he was teaching classes in Brentwood (Tennessee).  When Dave came out with EntreLeadership, I jumped on board because I trust him with all things financial. He walks the walk. I’m a straight-forward person, and I love his laser-straight answers to questions and problems.

I Would Like to Become Stronger at…

Delegating more and more of the things I’m not good at, like bookkeeping and paperwork.

The Secret to My Success

Since attending Dave’s EntreLeadership conference in December 2006, my business, which is in a high-end field, has grown six-fold, even during these nationally lean economic years. From Dave, I learned some basics that I had missed along the way, and also nitty-gritty growth-producing details.

One thing that has separated my business is that I’m 100% cash flowed. I require a 50–75% down payment from my clients before I start any project, and I pay my vendors 100% upfront for all materials used to make the window treatments. I’m so much happier now that I’m not paying bills 30 days after the order is placed and trying to keep up with who I owe. I think another thing that works for me is that my drapery making is an art form. I produce high quality, handmade products in a fast-food, made-in-China world.

INTERVIEW WITH RAVI PANKHANIA: CURTAIN MAKER EXTRODINAIRE

I’m thrilled to introduce a new category to my blog: Interviewing My Heros.  I’ve been in the custom & couture window treatment fabrication field since 1989 and have met and taken classes from many of my heros.  It’s been a long-time dream of mine to interview some of my heros and post their answers so that others can learn more about these talented people.

Ravi at Work in His Studio

I’ve been following Ravi’s website and blog for years and was honored to meet him two years ago and have had the privilege of taking a couple of classes from Ravi at the Custom Sewing Institute in Houston Texas, in 2010 and 2011.  Ravi’s creativity and workmanship will blow you away.  Check out his site and blog! Without further adue, let’s meet Ravi!

RAVI, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BACKGROUND?

My Name is Ravi, I am a curtain maker in Vancouver. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and moved to Vancouver when I was twelve. I studied tailoring and patternmaking for ten years before realizing that I didn’t want to be a tailor. In a moment of near economic collapse I was bailed out by an order for cushions and realized I could use my super sewing powers for good… My soft furnishings business was born!

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR FIRST JOB AS A DRAPERY MAKER, IS IT A FOND MEMORY OR A TERRIFYING ONE?

Definitely terrifying… Our very first drapery jobs were made by others and there simply was no trust from me in their skills. Moving forward and finally making our own I was absolutely paranoid that they wouldn’t fit, or the colour was awful etc etc…. Everything worked out just fine.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS?

Actually sewing. I make dozens of samples and concept curtains. This is where I work out my creative process and is most inspiring. I enjoy taking a concept from idea to completion and then selling it.

Ravi's Grommet Noren

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FABRIC TO WORK WITH RIGHT NOW?

Linen. Closely followed by wool and some alternative materials. I have been using nylons, tyvek, mesh, etc. Linen is a fantastic cloth which has an incredible hang and subtle textures… AKA wrinkles. I prefer cloths which are very stable and can be manipulated to create some of the incredible artwork we fabricate. I can also appreciate taking fabrics and experimenting with them, altering their structure their opacity, their properties to make something entirely new and unique.

HOW IMPORTANT IS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW IDEAS TO YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS?

Our company only exists because of our extensive research and development. Although this seems strange for a company that makes curtains we are constantly redesigning and refining our methods and our work. Only just last week we designed and fabricated a set of heavy interlined silk panels in an entirely new way. It is not enough to do just enough… Ever. Generally when it comes to research and development I start by drawing new concepts, making notes, and then making samples…. Lots of samples.

WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK RIGHT NOW?

Probably my family. I have to look after them, that makes things very serious even in a fun and creative atmosphere. Although I like to indulge myself the possibilities of trying new things and really pushing the boundaries of my limits I do most of it for practical reasons.

WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO SPECIALIZE IN COUTURE DRAPERY MAKING?

I really enjoy making curtains. I love the entire process especially knowing my curtains will bring an incredible amount of joy to a person’s life for years to come. I am thankful for the opportunity and the responsibility that people give me to beautify their most intimate living spaces.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE TYPICAL PROCESS THAT YOU WOULD TAKE WITH A CLIENT FOR WINDOW TREATMENT DESIGN?

Generally people come to me because they want something very different and unique. I start by introducing them to some interesting fabrics and ideas through sewn samples. From there we decide on particular styles or fabricate new ones. Once they are approved we quote the curtains, take a deposit and start sewing!

WHAT DESIGN BOOKS OR DESIGNERS DO YOU LOOK UP TO AND RECOMMEND TO OTHERS?

There really are so many talented people out there…I recently enjoyed reading  Inside Outside, by Petra Blaisse. I love the Merrick and Day publications and the quality of their work. I am really loving books on Japanese design at the moment. I am a big big fan of the natural aesthetic and materials. I am an avid collector and reader of Selvedge magazine… Wonderful publication. It’s really hard to single out any one or even several. I find that I learn something from everyone, some things are even useful…

IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN WITH ANY OF YOUR HEROS, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ASK HIM/HER

I probably would like to meet someone from Fashion, maybe Gianni Versace, but I doubt I would have much in common with him, so I might just ask him for the time. Perhaps it would be nice to meet someone who had made curtains for their entire lifetime, I have never met anyone who has… I am sure they would have some very interesting things to share….

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTTIME?

Probably thinking, which I do while working and wile relaxing. I am an avid reader too, and of course sewing.

WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO IN YOUR FIELD?

There are definitely some specific people but I am also very much energized by the people in the background. I congratulate anyone who is working hard to earn a living in this beautiful trade, we all know how difficult it can be and it is important for us all to have each other’s support. Women and Men who really push the boundaries of their skills and abilities. Those who work tirelessly to improve their skills, sell themselves, juggle the curtains and the kids and a home life. Those are my real heroes.

WHAT PIECE OF WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY?

Probably our banner shades. These priceless pieces of textile sculpture have been by far and wide our most popular product and blogged about worldwide, continuously since we made the first versions in 2007. These were the beginning of our foray into concept drapery. Really radically changing the way curtains look and function. Humble beginnings!    — Ravi

Ravi's Banner Shade

Click here to visit Ravi’s Website

Click here to visit Ravi’s Blog

ENJOY!

10 WINDOW TREATMENT PROJECTS FROM 2010

Looking back at photos on my computer brings back happy memories of projects I worked on and clients I worked with in 2010.  I want to share 10 of these projects.  Let me just say that often times I either forget my camera or take crummy photos, so if your project is missing from my list, don’t take it personally!  I’m working on my camera skills.  I was the designer and fabricator on the projects, unless otherwise noted.

 

Silk Portiere curtains

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Photo 1:  The first photo is of a “Portiere curtain”.  Charlie is enjoying the beautiful addition to his foyer.  My client needed privacy at night, but didn’t want anything hanging on the door.  I absolutely love curtains in a doorway!

Photo 2:  This room was taken with my new Canon camera and lens which will take tall rooms without distortion.  This treatment really warms up the room and makes the room feel balanced.

Photo3: Charity Tour of Homes, October 2010.  This was the fabulous dining room.  See “before” picture, too.  Designed by Amelie DeGaulle

BEFORE:  Dining Room

                                 AFTER

                                 AFTER

 

Photo 4:  A lovely breakfast room with Sunbrella Sheers.  Glare in the mornings were a bear; some mornings the clients had to wear sunglasses!  Now they can eat in a beautiful tree top setting without feeling closed in

Photo 5– Scrumptous silk bedding, shams, pillows and even headboard. 
Designer:  Kim Costner

Photo 6:  Designer Elisha Cypert standing by portiere curtains in an historic home in Franklin,TN.  Love how the curtains pull in the homeowner’s artwork.  The name of the fabric is “Tree of Life”.  And note the architectural piece, original to the home.

Photo 7:  An Italian Villa, located in Nashville, TN.  These cafe’ curtains are made of imported hand made lace, banded in taffeta.  Note the walls of marble.  Oh, this is a really a fun project!!   Designer:  Carolyn Campbell

Photo 8:  This condo is in The Gulch in Downtown Nashville.  My client could not sleep a wink past 5 AM, even with solar shades at the windows.  We remedied the problem: Ripplefold curtains with blackout lining.

Photo 10:  Creamy linen valance with pleated ruffle.  I love the light play on the ruffle.