Friday, January 25, 2008

Curtain Calls

This was a good week. I was able to concentrate and catch up on a lot of work, both paperwork and project work. There's something to be said for getting caught up and leaving the office late on a Friday night knowing that you've made some major accomplishments. Especially when you know you are leaving the office for another week of trade show shopping.

The most marvelous part of my week occurred yesterday. Yesterday was the day I have been waiting for for the past couple of months. Are you in deep suspense now? Most unlikely but I'll go on...

One of the projects Moving Designz has had on the go was the completion of custom window treatments for an entire house. Yes, every single room. Half of this project was ready just before Christmas and the remainder was finished early this week. With everything complete we did the installation on Thursday. Installing always worries me. Why? Really it shouldn't but as I've come to learn nothing goes as smoothly as you assume it will. One of my personal mantras is, everything always takes longer than you think it will and always expect the unexpected. The other part of the worry equation is ... when you are working with hundreds or in this case thousands of dollars you want it(need it) to be perfect for your clients. Happy clients and making people happy is what it's all about.

In this case I need not have worried, everything went great. Our installer did a wonderful job of hanging all the rods to the perfect size and the perfect height. Our seamstress, as usual, did an amazing job. The fabrics looked oh so perfect.... there's just something about custom windows. I guess the word custom speaks for itself.

I really like using draperies as they add that final dimension of style, panache and texture. Drapery and window treatments should be considered the finishing touches to any room. They are just as important as your artwork, furniture and accessories as they set the tone of the room. No doubt they can be expensive but it's always well worth the money. Custom window treatments are always an important investment pieces in your living space.

There are quite a few things to carefully consider when choosing window treatments; privacy, light control, the architecture of your windows and the overall feel of your space. Do you want formal, graceful, or light and airy perhaps? It's all about enhancing what you already have.

It always depends on the space when I am helping clients choose what will look best. A few of my favorite options are french pleated side panels at full length. I like the curtains to hang an inch off the floor and I like to have the rods hung midway between the ceiling and the top of the molding. There is just something so polished about having nice panels hanging gracefully. Some people like to have the excess fabric dragging or puddling on the floor but not me I like to have them just grazing the floor. I find it a much cleaner look.

Another of my favorite window treatments are custom roller blinds. These are especially great in rooms where you need to control light, privacy and the heat of the sun. They can be measured to fit inside most any general window frame and can be customized with so many choices of fabric. They are especially great in bathrooms and sunrooms.

I've used custom fitted lined bamboo roman style blinds in quite a few of the more casual spaces we've decorated. I love the texture and the natual element of nature they bring to a space. I also love the fact that they are lined. This allows complete privacy and light control.

While I like roman blinds I only really use them when they are to be up most of the time. They tend to be a bit fussy and take time to train them to sit properly so lowering them on a regular basis can be work.

In more modern spaces I like using grommeted panels. They slide wonderfully across the rod and when opened take up very little stacking space. In designer speak stacking is the width of fabric you are left with when the drapes are opened fully.

I know my next comments may offend some people but I couldn't end this post without addressing some of my least liked window treatments and I'm using the term "least liked" loosely here. Sorry people.

Top of list: Scarf valances- you know those lengths of fabric people hang on poles and rods and even worse over drapes. They don't look good EVER. Next on chopping block, netted curtains, lace curtains, etc... - maybe (and I prefer not) at grammas place, they are so old school. White flat metal curtain rods, you know the kind. Cheap, cheap, cheap, 'nough said. Coloured, plastic mini blinds- when you can get white 2" faux wood slats for pennies more, why would anyone?

I am sure I could go on but I feel I've covered the most offensive of the bunch. Tomorrow I am off to the CGTA show in Toronto and looking forward to shopping 'til I drop and bringing back all kinds of goodies for the store. My next post should be a good one.


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