Resilience & Creativity in Crisis — How our Small Business Survived COVID-19

Every generation has a moment it will never forget — a moment that impacted us collectively and indelibly as a nation. For this generation, it is the day we realized that COVID-19 was not a distant concept causing us mild anxiety from the other side of the world. It is the day we realized that the virus had reached our shores, our cities, and our communities. It is the day that children were sent home from school. Basketball games were cancelled. Restaurants were emptied. 

On Friday, March 13, 2020, amid rising cases of COVID-19 and the first reported instance of community transmission, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a statewide emergency. The state of Texas — and the world — came to a collective stop. 

The Pandemic Pause

“For a moment, I held my breath,” says Custom Drapery Design owner and lead designer Brenda Baxter. “There were so many unknowns: How can I protect myself and my family? How can I protect my clients? How can I protect my team? I worried I would lose my livelihood.”

“I gave myself the weekend to pause. I learned as much as I could and collected my thoughts,” she shares. “Then, we got to work.”    

The Pivot

“We immediately regrouped as a team Monday morning. We met over videoconference to get organized and huddle together as a work family.” 

“Before talking work, we talked about how we were all doing, how our weekend was, etc. It was important to recognize the heavy emotions and potential fears during this time. We needed to support each other professionally, but also personally.”

The Plan

When the pandemic hit, Custom Drapery Designs launched a “We Are Open” campaign to remind loyal and potential clients that there is always a time and place for good design.

I have an amazing, resilient team,” says Brenda proudly. “After watching industry webinar after webinar with coaches and seasoned industry professionals for insight and shared ideas, I came up with a plan. My team embraced it and, together, we put into action.” 

Our first step was to promote a “We Are Open” campaign on social media. We created a quick promotional video from our homes.

The message? We are prepared to be creative and continue to design for your home via Zoom, FaceTime, etc. “Together, we can do this,” we emphasized. 

The campaign worked! Within a week, calls were coming in. Clients at home — with extra time and suspended travel and entertainment budgets — realized now was the time to address nagging design needs. 

Our team mailed clients our design sketches with fabric samples and then presented the design project via videoconference. 

Remote Possibilities with Ready-Made Drapery Panels and Custom Hardware

With this new emphasis on remote design, we also found our reach expanding to out-of-state clients — a silver lining! We worked hard to expand our e-commerce business, shipping ready-made panels and custom hardware across the country.

An image of a full-size bed with custom bedding in elegant shades of grey, cream and cool blues.
Stunning images like this one posted to social media brought Brenda and our design team into the homes of our clients throughout the pandemic, inspiring them to initiate new projects.

Brenda (with the help of her suddenly home-bound, college-age daughter) created numerous social media presentations to inspire as well as inform. Brenda shared her passion for design through demonstrations of motorized “smart” blinds that raise and lower on your schedule. She exhibited the range of drapery hardware available to suit modern and traditional tastes. And she mixed and matched trims to show these touches accessorize fabrics just as jewelry add dazzle to clothing. These conversational and engaging videos brought Brenda and her design team into the homes of potential clients and kept the sales momentum going.

Custom Drapery Designs continues to post beautiful content to social media, engaging with our audience and building on our substantial following — not just domestically, but internationally. Our Pinterest account regularly attracts close to 500,000 views each month from those seeking inspiration for their homes.

The Precautions

Safety has been paramount. Throughout the pandemic, everyone at Custom Drapery Designs was required to wear masks, and air and germ purifiers were installed in the design office. We participated in national #MaskUp campaigns so that clients and partners could be assured that we were safely operating according to CDC guidelines. 

A screen capture of an Instagram post showing Brenda Baxter and another designer in the design studio wearing masks with the hashtag #MaskUp
Custom Drapery Designs participated in national #MaskUp social media campaigns so that clients and partners could be assured that we were safely operating according to CDC guidelines. 

The precautions were successful, and our firm has maintained a 100% healthy work environment. This month, we celebrated that all of our designers and installers are fully vaccinated! 

Together, We Can Do This

Today, as the pandemic wanes, we look back on our transition with wonder and pride. We not only survived but flourished. More and more new clients are calling, trusting the effectiveness of safe protocols.

But it was not the new clients that kept us going these past 14 months, notes Brenda. 

“We were blessed to have stellar repeat clients who were not traveling so spent this budget and more on total renovations and updates,” says Brenda. “We are forever thankful and appreciative of our repeat client ‘family’.”

To everyone in our client family — the new and the repeat clients — who entrusted us with their homes and their projects … thank you.

Together, we did this. 


When a home gets a “Glow Up”

Your house means more than four walls, some windows and doors. It is your home. The place you rest your head, relax, entertain. It’s the place your children grow. And, as they mature and your family evolves, your home should adapt with you.

Stephanie Freeman, lead designer at Custom Drapery Designs, enjoyed a recent “Glow-up” home makeover on not one, but three bedrooms. The client’s three sons had transitioned from boys to young men, and they were ready for more sophisticated looks to match.

Enter Stephanie

Glow Up Project By Custom Drapery Designs

“The ‘Glow-up’ project began when the client’s youngest of three sons requested a more grown-up room. She requested a room that was modern, but not overly trendy. Her son approved a few inspiration pictures with a slight industrial feel, and we were off!” Stephanie shared. “The plan included a complete makeover, starting with fresh paint and carpet. Since the son was interested in the final product, I pulled together two design plans and let him guide the decisions. He selected dark wood furniture and cool saddle leather nightstands. We layered the bedding and windows in linen and gray tones, and accented the room with high contrast accessories. Add one dramatic black and white framed photo of mountains, and the mood was set!”

CDD had previously installed Hunter Douglas shades in the three bedrooms and were thrilled with the opportunity to bring more pizzazz into the home. Stephanie chose Fabricut fabrics for the bedding in the youngest son’s room and paired that with trim from Samuel & Sons. The functionally fabulous lamps from Visual Comfort added the perfect finishing touch on either side of the bed.

At every stage of all three makeovers, Stephanie consulted with her clients. She pulled in each son’s style and interests to every aspect of the design, from furniture and accessories to artwork and fabrics.

When a home gets a Glow Up By Custom Drapery Designs

“The second phase encompassed the older sons’ rooms. Though they are off at college, our client wanted to surprise them with a fresh update in their spaces. These rooms also received new carpet and paint, a few pieces of new furniture, layered bedding and drapery,” Stephanie recounts. “The art really added personality to each room. The middle son loved the trendy succulent look. The oldest son wanted to represent his love of music, so I found a cool picture of stacked records.”

Along with the addition of fresh succulents to the middle son’s room, Stephanie combined Anna French fabric for a custom bedskirt with Kravet fabric for the upholstered headboard, which was made in the CDD workroom.

Custom Drapry Design's Glow Up Project

In the oldest son’s room, the custom bedskirt complements the stacked record artwork while the Kravet trim on the draperies adds the exquisite couture details CDD’s known for.

This three-bedroom makeover showcases the incredible shift in mood an intentional design can produce. As with all of CDD’s projects, this Glow-up began with a client’s needs, grew with an understanding of the personalities and preferences of the household, morphed into a great vision and manifested in a final reveal that wowed the clients.

As Stephanie said, “Each room represents the personalities of the occupants, while leaving space for future phases of life. They couldn’t be more pleased with the results!”

Is your home ready for a Glow-up? If your family has changed, could it be time for a home makeover to match? Contact us today to schedule your in-home consultation and take the first steps toward a fresh new look!


Books and Design: A Perfect Pairing

Creative mediums often inspire one another. Fashion trends influence interior design. Music fuels writers’ imaginations. A painting’s color and composition drives a landscaper’s vision. Books spark a creative rush for designers.

Books and Design Pairing

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer, and Stephanie Freeman, senior design consultant, find their share of literary inspiration for Custom Drapery Design projects. Books on the history of textiles or design and volumes on color hold obvious influence for designers. In some cases, though, the memories surrounding the purchase or receiving of a book deliver just as strong of a creative nudge.

Whatever the reason, Brenda and Stephanie welcome the spark a book ignites in a design for their clients. They share a few of their favorite design-related books below.

Brenda Baxter

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs

  • 5000 Years of Textiles by Jennifer Harris: My inspiration books are because of memories relating to the purchase. This book was purchased as I traveled to London and toured an art and design museum. I love the details and history of textiles—for example, tribal textiles, tie-dye, ikats, silk brocades, embroidery, velvet silks and felts. On this same trip I found a fabulous book study of French Toile at the Versailles. Unfortunately, I purchased the copy in FRENCH …
  • The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff: I received this book as a gift while at the International Window Coverings Expo. It has been a fantastic reference when finding the perfect word or description for unique fabric applications, such as decorative pleats, circular flounce, pleated ruffles, shirring and gathered edges and cross-tacked tucks.
  • Classic Fabrics by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill: Within my copy of this book, you’ll find sticky notes marking fabric descriptions such as faded floral linens, delicate small patterns, wools, textured weaves, study of the highest quality of silks, brocades, damask, art needlework and crewel work and the craftsman’s skill of passementerie. The study of textile is one book “subject” I cannot put down.
  • Classic Fabrics by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill: Within my copy of this book, you’ll find sticky notes marking fabric descriptions such as faded floral linens, delicate small patterns, wools, textured weaves, study of the highest quality of silks, brocades, damask, art needlework and crewel work and the craftsman’s skill of passementerie. The study of textile is one book “subject” I cannot put down.

Stephanie Freeman

Stephanie Freeman, lead designer, Custom Drapery Designs
  • Farrow & Ball: The Art of Color by Brian D. Coleman: I love color! I am always excited when a client is ready for color in a project, especially if it is a fun and unusual mix.
  • Pierre Frey: Inspired Interiors by Serge Gleizes: This French textile design and manufacturing company produces both traditional and modern styles with centuries-old techniques. The designs are glorious showstoppers, and I can’t think of a more exciting line to draw inspiration from for that special project.
  • The History of Furniture from William Morrow & Company: This is one of only a few textbooks I saved from design school. It reminds me of the link design has from past to present and of the respect we should pay to classic furniture. Classic design never goes out of style.
  • Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style by Mark D. Sikes: This designer resonates with my own personal style, which is both modern and tailored, while classic and full of personality.
  • The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small, edited by Kath Stathers: Inspiration comes from everywhere, and my favorite way to gain design perspective and inspiration is through travel. You might be surprised how unique cuisine, exotic locations or international architecture can inspire a client’s design.
  • Barcelona: Tile Designs by M.A. Hernandez: This book offers a more specific example of inspiration through travel. While in Barcelona last year, I learned about the tile designs used throughout the city—sidewalks, building entries, floors, walls, even ceilings! I brought home a rescued concrete tile to keep the city’s influence close.

Do you wonder how a book might inspire a new design or interior facelift in your home or office? Contact us today to set up your consultation.


2019 Custom Drapery Designs Highlights

2019 Custom Drapery Designs Highlights

As 2019 accelerates into a new decade, we look back with gratitude toward each of our clients and pride in the custom designs they allowed us to create this year.

Custom Drapery Designs focused this year on the things we do best. It shows in the exquisite couture details we’re known for, the challenges we overcame in some of our more unique homes, the opportunities we seized to brighten spaces with splashes of color and the attention we placed on the “extras.”

Stunning Details

Since our inception twenty-five years ago, CDD has made couture details a priority. While this focus carries through in each design we complete, these projects stand out for their exquisite custom specifics.

Custom Drapery Designs Highlights

Reminiscent of an elegant lady on her way to a ball, these draperies deserve a closer examination. Each layer and element combines for a stunning finish. Blue taffeta silk panels frame the two-toned Chinoiserie printed sheer in this East-meets-West style. The combination also adds depth and functionality to the custom draperies, while the Cowtan & Tout scalloped trim and antique gold bespoke hardware provide the design’s crowning jewels.

Taking inspiration from a chandelier in this breakfast room, the steel rings along the dark wood rod and finials tie the existing décor in with the client’s new draperies. The mixture of Euro pleats and a flat-fold Roman shade works well, while the addition of the wide trim on the lead edge takes the entire design up one more notch.

These designs offer perfect examples of how small details can add volume to a project. The thick trim along the heavy drapery fabric gives the entire panel a textured appearance, while the all-over depth of the wool panel finds added intrigue with the ornate finials.

Talk about drama!

This two-story treatment adds elegance to the space, but it’s the details that really make it all shine. The blocks of navy and silver modern damask pattern from Fabricut break up the large panel, and the thin silver cord from Vervain Fabrics adds a sparkle to the seams. Platinum short rods top it off and match the fabric’s accents.

What do you get when you add a wide geometric braid to the fabric splice between an aqua woven linen and a luxurious silk? A vibrant finish! Add to these elements an elongated pinch pleat, and we believe this is one elegant design.

Samuel & Sons trim provides a perfect border for this detailed Scalamandré fabric, while the Roman shade creates the optimum style with which to showcase this pairing.

This embroidered fabric band by Anna French takes a simple box pleat valance to a higher finish, and we love how it accents the linen.

Roman shade installation in Dallas, TX

Exquisite couture details come not just through chosen materials, but also through the treatment of them. In this Roman shade installation, we utilized a scalloped detail at the hem, mitered corners on the framed trim, and a detailed silk dupioni French welt. Those little things add up to a big finish!

Challenging Projects

Whether it’s tight corners, an odd-shaped window, or unusual architecture, we love challenges!

Instead of shying away from tackling the tight corners in this master retreat, we chose round acrylic hardware to define each window and increase symmetry throughout the space.

Custom rods in this master bedroom allowed us to carry the draperies across the massive windows. The addition of custom shades allows for privacy or shading when needed and opens up for the windows’ full effects when desired.

Custom Rods by Custom Drapery Designs

Not every treatment can be installed into the surrounding wall. In this kitchen, we found ourselves challenged by the fragile marble tile along either side of the window. Using a simple yet elegant tension rod to hold a light, airy café curtain brought needed privacy with beauty—all while maintaining the integrity of the accompanying tiles.

This unique window shape afforded us the opportunity to play with height and mounting. We hung this asymmetrical panel on wood-toned medallions mounted at an angle along the upper window.

Brightening Colors

As in the example above, we find small splashes of color carry mighty effects. The neutral background of this Brookdale fabric by Fabricut still catches eyes thanks to the scattered purple-hued flowers in its design.

The bright colors in both fabric and trim combine to make this custom Roman shade the most lively element in a whimsical nursery.

Finishing Touches

Quite often, the brightening features of a design come in its finishing touches. Pillows, bedding, upholstery and more may bring needed pops of color into a room to round out an entire design.

Vibrant accents abound in this custom drapery and Roman shade pairing. The colors and prints in the pillows, trim and bedding bring the entire look together.

Custom Pillows by Custom Drapery Designs

Custom pillows make the asymmetrical window design shown above in our challenges section look like a match made in heaven with these gray swivel chairs.

Exquisite couture details pop out again in bedding accents like these custom pillows that perfectly complete this bedroom, turning it into a retreat.

Pairing a neutral side with a busier Modern Mosaic pattern from Kravet provides added depth to a design, while the velvet pumps up the volume on texture.

From overall elegance to exquisite additions, Custom Drapery Designs has delivered custom satisfaction to each client in 2019, and we look forward to even more in 2020. 

Call today to set up your in-home consultation and experience CDD’s attention to detail in your own space.


Traditional Meets Modern in Scandinavia

Owner and Principal Designer of Custom Drapery Designs

Inspiration crosses geographical boundaries and transcends time. When Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs, traveled to Denmark and Sweden, she found herself surrounded by ideas for designs back home. The seamless melding of traditional and modern aspects in design captured her imagination.

A Land of Color

Traditional Meets Modern in Scandinavia in Dallas

As she meandered along the Nyhavn Harbour in Copenhagen, Brenda soaked in the medley of bright colors of the houses along the canal. The vivid façades of the townhouses make these havens of 17th and 18th-century history appear fresh and modern.

Brilliant colors continue through much of the design and landscape—not surprising, considering the Scandinavian countries provide some of the best views of the Aurora Borealis. Such natural majesty is guaranteed to spark creativity in anyone who observes the Northern Lights.

A Land of Whimsy

Floral Inspiration Designs in Denmark

Another frequent feature in design and architecture and inspiration for many of the colors are flowers. These carefully planned details add whimsy to counterbalance the bold colors around them.

Denmark’s national flower is the Marguerite Daisy. This lovely little blossom pops up in architecture and designs across the country. With its dainty petals and graceful curves, the Marguerite Daisy pairs well to soften harsh metal or add dimension to interior designs.

A Land of Grandeur

Brenda discovered many architectural layouts and fabric styles that embrace royal embellishments. Denmark’s coat of arms, with its three lion heads, appears in everything from building fronts to interior design.

Roughly hewn wooden doors with rich tones, accented with metal, open to interior luxury created with custom fabrics in rich textures. Marble and gold leaf are frequently used design materials, adding further flair. Touring the Design Museum of Denmark is a must, and inspires with fashion and furniture exhibits that span the last century.

Fashion and furniture exhibits in Denmark
Scandinavian styles in Dallas, TX

A Land of History That Lives

Modern Chair Style Design Museum Custom Drapery Designs
Scandinavian styles in Dallas, TX

Traditional meets modern in Scandinavian design. Brenda noticed this in a collection of Scandinavian chairs through history from the 1920s through today. Each one would look fantastic in a modern home’s design.

Scandinavian chairs for Modern Home Design in Dallas, TX
Modern Sofa Chairs in Dallas, TX

One company captured this approach—and Brenda’s eye. Furnishings by SLETTVOLL exemplify the clean, fresh lines of traditional Swedish design. Rustic accents and modern metal top off the pieces and make them the perfect additions to any home—Scandinavian or Texan!

Furnishings by SLETTVOLL

Do any of these images inspire you? Can you picture Scandinavian styles or a traditional-meets-modern design in your home? Schedule your in-home consultation today!


A Quarter Century of Custom Designs

Brenda Baxter - Owner Of Custom Drapery Designs

Twenty-five years ago, a young mother found an outlet for her creative passions—sewing pillows, bedding and draperies for family and friends. Thanks to a friend’s encouragement, that mom founded Custom Drapery Designs and discovered a way to combine creativity, entrepreneurship and family. This businesswoman is Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer.

Passion. Determination. Focus. Commitment. Drive.

With these five entrepreneurial tools and a quarter of a century of commitment to excellence and exquisite couture details, Brenda and Custom Drapery Designs stand tall and strong with mighty plans for their future.


Brenda’s passions for careful attention to details, family first and fellow women entrepreneurs shine forth in all she does.

In each and every project she’s led—from some of her earliest luxury pillows made for her parents to the dining room design that earned her first place in an international design competition—Brenda finds ways to incorporate tiny touches that add up to a masterful design.

From the beginning, she committed to family first in her business model. Her three children grew up with her business and discovered ways to play and imagine with fabric scraps or bolts. Brenda has always scheduled time for the important things like lunch dates with her elementary-aged children, dress shopping with a teenage daughter, wedding events—both in 2018—with her two sons or long weekends with her daughter, now a junior in college.

It was this model that inspired Brenda to hire other moms, enabling them to work while keeping time with their children paramount. In 2010, Joy E. Rancatore, freelance writer—now published author and owner of her own publishing company—began her partnership with Brenda by assisting with website content and written materials.

Stephanie Freeman, lead designer, joined the CDD team in 2014, bringing with her expanded interior design services to complement and enhance the existing full service window coverings, upholstery and soft-goods firm. Together, she and Brenda have presented clients with some stunning reveals.

The most recent addition, Kristen Badowski, social media coordinator and office manager, joined in 2018. Prior to joining CDD, Kristen had an eleven-year career in technical marketing, pausing to focus on raising her two children. Now that they are in college and middle school, Kristen decided to focus on her love of graphic design and photography by joining CDD. She loves the day-to-day management of the company’s digital assets and creation of content to show off CDD’s latest and greatest projects.

Determination & Focus.

Every design provides Brenda and Stephanie new challenges to overcome and opportunities to embrace. They approach each with determination to make the finished product the best possible.

This same focus has earned both multiple design awards. Most recently, Stephanie participated on a team of professional designers that won second place at the local IDS Dallas meeting’s SWATCHED contest. Competing in the interactive design exercise—and then placing—is yet another reflection of her talents.

Brenda’s determination to always push herself and her design abilities aided her in achieving her first design competition win all the way to first place in Decorative Trim and Hardware at the 2018 VISION Design and Workroom Competition Awards Gala. These honors come as no surprise to those familiar with her high quality of work and focus on every detail.


Along the way, Brenda has maintained her commitment to her clients, striving always to dig deep into their needs and desires before presenting them with materials, colors and sketches to take their dreams one step closer to reality.

Through tragedy rose another commitment—this one to a cause. Brenda’s firsthand experience with the heartbreak that ALS brings to family members and how it affected her father during his battle with it brought her to be a champion for the cause of finding a cure.

On October 26, she will participate in the Dallas Walk to Defeat ALS in memory of her father and on behalf of all the families who are currently battling or might face it.


The same drive that pushed Brenda on the late nights and early mornings of building a business after a full day of being mom continues to steer the CDD ship. The whole crew eagerly awaits a showroom expansion in 2020!

Would you like to speak with Brenda and Stephanie about how their vision can bring your dreams to life? Schedule your in-home consultation today!


Custom Means Quality … and So Much More!

Custom Drapery Designs lives out a passion for customized designs and the details that make them spectacular. It’s part of our name, after all! Custom means quality. When we sit down with a client to discuss their needs and then piece together a unique plan to fulfill those requirements, we focus on three main steps in order to deliver a custom design that showcases high quality.

Careful Attention to Detail

When we consider the details, we take into account the room’s architectural challenges or highlights. We find solutions to those challenges and accentuate the positives. Sometimes, this requires custom-made hardware with special angles, unique solutions to mask off-center windows or exclusive hardware to hide the drapery’s “nuts and bolts.”

Uniquely YOU

Each client brings us his or her style preferences, and we strive to match that in every custom drapery piece we create. From monogrammed details to inspiration from worldwide travels or artwork, our designs reflect each client’s lifestyle and experiences.

Our choice of colors and patterns fits the tone and aesthetic desired by each client for a specific space. Each aspect joins together to create a truly one-of-a-kind design, thanks to the many options we find in fabric companies such as GP & J Baker, Anna French, Cowtan and Tout, Zoffany and Samuel & Sons.

Materials Hand-picked for Every Design

We don’t follow a one-style-fits-all approach, so each piece of a design is carefully chosen and matched with other details to create a completed look that’s both cohesive and unique. Careful selections of everything from fabric to embellishments and hardware drive our designs.

Color and texture play equal roles in our fabric choices. One example of a versatile fabric can be seen above in the wool fabric swatches from three of our favorite companies: Holland & Sherry, Ralph Lauren and S. Harris. Such a strong textural component pairs magnificently with powerful accents such as the large tassels pictured above.

Great custom draperies rise to outstanding with the careful addition of hand-picked embellishments and trims, like the ones pictured above. In the images, we paired fabrics and trims from various companies for full exploration of possibilities for our clients. Brimar tassel trim highlights Vervain fabric with natural colors, while Samuel & Sons trims and embellishments add stunning texture and pop and Stout trims pull out the very best hues in Thibaut fabrics.

Hardware often provides the icing on the cake of custom designs. More than simply tools with which to hang drapery panels, these pieces—whether wood, metal or other materials—complete a design’s look and feel.

We love to play with varying combinations of trims, fabrics, embellishments and hardware. Thanks to companies like The Finial Company, Kravet, Fabricut, Brimar, Lee Jofa and GP & J Baker, we’re always delighted with new combinations and unique styles.

If you’re ready for your own quality custom design, contact us today. We look forward to creating exquisite couture details for a design that is uniquely YOU!


Teamwork Makes the Design Work: Divine Dining Room

Start to finish, each design deserves a team effort. Designers, installation team and clients work together with art work, inspiration pieces and architectural features to create the perfect final presentation. We’re sharing this process through a recent dining room design.

Listening to the Client

As with many of our projects, the design inspiration began with our client. She had been considering an update for a while and knew she wanted to showcase a transitional style. When she discovered some art work with rich copper tones balanced by other metallics, she knew it was the catalyst for a stunning presentation. And, we agreed!

Setting the Stage

Stephanie Freeman, lead designer, began with a rug to set the stage for the rest of the room’s features. She considered the existing table and chair suite and fabulous chandelier. 

With those and the inspirational colors in mind, Stephanie selected a modern rug with a cream base and accents of metallic tones. Rugs often make the greatest impact in a space, so they make a perfect foundation for the rest of a design.

Accentuating the Positives

Designers, installation team and clients together create the perfect final presentation, as in this recent dining room design.

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer, fell in love with the carved wood trim throughout and tall arches above the windows. She chose to accentuate these architectural styles with custom draperies. For the initial client meeting, Brenda brought multiple metallic sheers options.

“As I observed Stephanie and the client reviewing rug options, art and accents, I began to pull beautiful embellished bead and sequin artistic sheer patterns. We landed on an amazing bronze raindrops sequin sheer. Adding to the flavor, I included an accent bronze silk strie dupioni on the bottom hem. For a touch of class the French pleat seemed perfect,” Brenda recalls.

Adding on the Layers

“Dining rooms are always heavy on hard surfaces, so adding textiles adds warmth and color,” Stephanie explains. Instead of a traditional table runner, she focused on the transitional style choice and created custom runners for the two host chairs. These pieces utilized the metallic color palette in an embroidered linen fabric. The runners drape over the backs of the chairs to fall with an elegant break on the floor for an unexpected touch.

With two expansive empty walls, Stephanie sought artwork big and bold enough to fill them. She chose a set of mirrored wall panels by John Richard that perfectly covered the largest wall.

Custom Drapery Designs Dining Room Installation Chair

The final piece of this puzzle will be some sconces to provide added sparkle. She paired the wall art with a slim iron table with show-stopping crystal and gold accessories atop it for a stunning union.

The second wall earned a pair of glass-embedded pieces by revered artist Mary Hong, one of the client’s favorite creatives. The client then suggested the use of acrylic risers to add light play and height beneath the slender metallic leaf Stephanie chose as the table’s centerpiece.

Sprinkling It with Custom Details

Brenda measured the chairs to determine an ideal height for the draperies’ bronze bottom accent. She paired the draperies with custom rods and finials in a sleek tarnished silver finish, adding an additional metallic element within the drapery design. These small details add great drama to a design.

Installing Draperies for Maximum Flair

The most intricate of custom draperies and most impactful of accents cannot reach their full potential without professional, precise installation. Our team mounted the shimmering draperies tall and slightly above the arched windows in order to highlight that architectural bonus, allowing it to filter through the sheers. Top to bottom, each panel flows elegantly into a slight break on the floor.

Bringing It All Together

By featuring art with texture and dimension in addition to custom fabrics, we bring great depth into a room’s design. This leads to spaces that fit the clients’ style and life, that are comfortable and inviting and that lead the eye to wander over every exquisite couture detail we pride ourselves in including.

Designers, installation team and clients together create the perfect final presentation, as in this recent dining room design.

Are you ready to embark on your own updated design? Contact us today to set up your in-home consultation.

The year may only be half over, but Custom Drapery Designs has already produced many stunning reveals for clients. Here are a few custom design highlights!

Custom Design Highlights of 2019

The year may only be half over, but Custom Drapery Designs has already produced many stunning reveals for clients. Here are a few custom design highlights!

Custom Details 

CDD’s focus on exquisite couture details sets us apart and gives our clients the higher caliber designs they deserve. It’s in the little flourishes that a room finds its edge.

Rods & Finials

Rods & Finials by Custom Drapery Designs

Inspired by other furnishings in this client’s bedroom, the square acrylic rod and gold rings and finials top off the design with an elegant, yet modern twist.

Quite often, a client’s odd-shaped rooms inspire our custom details, like this curved traverse rod.


Bedroom Drapery Designs in Dallas, TX

Color blocking, as in this master bedroom drapery, takes the concept of trims to another level by pairing fabrics together in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

This drapery design epitomizes the stunning effects of couture details. We began with natural linen for the panels, used cartridge pleating and added the dramatic Maize accent band on the lead edge. Pair this with the dark rod and shiny metallic finials and rings, and we achieved a final look that takes its inspiration directly from modern art.

For a more subtle look that packs an equal amount of punch, we chose this delicious braid trim from Samuel & Sons—perfect for a dining room facelift.

Custom Treatments

Not every window requires flowing draperies. Valances, swags or shades could be the tools to highlight their best features.


To add depth and dimension to this bedroom design, we created a tailored box pleat valance to add style to simplicity.

Decorative Valance Trim in Dallas, TX

This custom valance exemplifies how we bring high quality details together to make something unique. The Ralph Lauren chesterfield plaid fabric overlay gets accents from leather trim and decorative nail head trim from Samuel & Sons.


In this impressive bathroom, we created a custom look as bold as the room’s architecture. The arched swag treatment utilizes a center jabot and presents in long cascades. Adding to the drama, we layered motorized Roman and Austrian shades for light control, privacy and ease in use.


Clean and crisp with its bright blue happiness, this fabric pairs perfectly with a classic Greek key trim to create an ambiance of peace and joy around this breakfast nook.

The year may only be half over, but Custom Drapery Designs has already produced many stunning reveals for clients. Here are a few custom design highlights!

This custom relaxed Roman shade in a master bathroom brings just the right amount of style and drama through its inset, inverted pleat, accent fabric and decorative trim. It also matches with the master bedroom draperies, spreading unity throughout our client’s home.

Custom Draperies

From airy sheers to luxurious satins, custom draperies style any room’s windows and dress them for their very best success.

Dining Rooms

Custom Drapery Designs Dining Room Installation Table

Stunning custom draperies begin with fabulous fabrics from companies like Zoffany. From there, we pair them with furnishings, trims, rugs and upholstery to produce a cohesive design.

We adore the wispy elegance found in this euro pleat sheer drapery. It balances beautifully with the shimmer of the chandelier and the natural texture of the upholstery.


Another example of simple elegance comes through in these bedroom panels. The beauty in draperies often shines in their ability to accentuate the architecture and furnishings around them.

These color-blocked draperies match with other bedroom décor and pair well with the custom cornice board.

Media Rooms

In this media room, we faced the challenges of evening out the inconsistency in size between a small window and large wall and of blocking out light. To handle the first issue, we hung the treatments in such a way to create the illusion of a more fitting window size. To manage the light issues, we paired a Roman shade with coordinating draperies and utilized blackout lining on both.

Custom Upholstery

Whether you’re in need of brand new custom furniture and rugs or want to give prized heirlooms an update in fabric, we’ve got you covered!

Custom Rugs by Custom Drapery Designs

On occasion we find the need for one more element to tie each aspect of a design—draperies, upholstery, furnishings and décor—together. For this dining room, that piece was this octagonal rug. It mimics the shape of the client’s room while highlighting the gray of the custom-upholstered chairs and tying in with the baby blue of the adjacent living area.

Whether a client inherits a gift of family furniture that deserves a slight modernization or finds the perfect piece of furniture in a less-than-ideal color, we can help!

Contact us today to discuss your custom design needs so we can work on your 2019 reveal!

Custom Drapery Designs makes the process simple from call to completion. Here are some tips for what you can expect during the custom design process.

Custom Design Process

When spring cleaning uncovers a desire for an update, Custom Drapery Designs makes the process simple from call to completion. Here are some tips for what you can expect during the custom design process.

What questions can you expect during the initial phone consultation?

Before CDD visits your home, we will chat on the phone about your goals. During this talk, we want to know what you have in mind. If you’ve been searching on Pinterest or other websites for ideas, we’d love to hear about that. Send us your inspiration boards if you’d like!

We’ll answer any questions you have and ask some of our own. Here are a few of the most common ones we ask our clients:

What practical needs would you like met through this design? Light filtering? Privacy? More ambiance?

  • What is your personal style?
  • What is your home’s architectural style? Would you like this design to make a bold statement or blend in with the existing styles?
  • What colors do you have in mind?
  • What types of fabrics do you like or dislike?
  • What is your general investment range?

If you’re not sure how to answer some of these questions, that’s okay! We will guide you to determine both your needs and your desires so we can fulfill both.

What can you expect during the in-home consultation? 

We do a phone consultation first, so we can bring sample materials, sketches and other items for a more productive in-home consultation. You’ll be able to feel the fabrics and better envision the hardware in your space. We will talk more about your goals before we sketch some ideas and take initial window measurements.

What inspires the design?

In addition to listening carefully to our client’s preferences and personal styles, we study the home’s architecture as well as any trim already around the windows. During our visit, we note the art, area rugs, furniture and other pieces of décor. Finally, we take in the landscape outside the window to ensure we capitalize on your view.

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer, collects inspiration around the world during her travels and through conferences, expos and markets she attends throughout the year. She and Stephanie Freeman, lead designer, keep their fingers on the pulse of trends in the design industry in order to serve and inspire you.

What should you expect from your design proposal?

During the in-home consultation, we will schedule a presentation meeting within the following week. At that time, we will present your design proposal.

This proposal comes in the form of a design board, complete with fabrics, hardware and any lining or trims to be used. We provide sketches of the plan, as well as an estimate.

How long does a typical design take and just what does the “custom” side of the process look like?

Once the proposal has been approved, we begin ordering materials and schedule a professional measurement. With those final dimensions, we order custom hardware that will fit your space perfectly.

As soon as all of the fabric materials arrive, production begins in the workroom. Stitch by stitch, your draperies take shape. This custom process typically takes around six weeks before we’re ready for installation day. 

How do Brenda and Stephanie work together?  

Brenda and Stephanie collaborate on creating custom drapery. Brenda often brings Stephanie in to specifically handle all of the extras—like accent pieces and finishing touches—to give your space added dimension and take the design to another level.

This video comes from a recent installation where we combined Brenda’s flair for draperies with Stephanie’s eye for accents. You will see how the client’s existing pieces inspired and drove the design. Keep scrolling to see how items from the past paired beautifully with new custom designs to produce a luxurious—yet livable—dining room.

What can you expect on installation day?

You can expect a great deal of hustle and bustle and excitement as we stagger our installers so everyone cooperates within the space. We each do our parts, so that it comes together seamlessly for one big unveiling.

We look forward to these days and delight in the joy on our clients’ faces when they see their renewed spaces for the first time.

Are you ready to schedule your consultation? Contact us today to get started on your own custom design.

Leather Rods and Bags

Friendship and Inspiration at the IWCE

Friendship and Inspiration at the IWCE

Friendship and fashion; inspiration and trends—Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs, looks forward to these benefits each time she attends the International Window Coverings Expo.

Brenda, Lori Carpenter and Marcia Boatwright comprise a trio of design trendsetters who have made the IWCE an annual meeting point.

Brenda shared, “For years I have travelled with two industry friends, Lori and Marcia, to the IWCE. We have so much fun sharing ideas and inspiration. One evening after a full day of seminars and trade show events, I laughed at the sight of the three of us, energetically sitting shoulder to shoulder, sharing our notes. This friendship and mentor-ship is extremely special, and I am very thankful for their friendship and for the IWCE.”

Lori, an Authorized Hunter Douglas Dealer, owns The Grapevine Home in Ash Flat, Arkansas, a full interior design studio that she started in 1996. Marcia comes from Ada, Oklahoma, where she operates Blinds, Drapery, & Design, a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer and full service interior design business.

Friends since 2009, the business owners traveled from their respective states to the 2019 trade show and conference in Nashville. Spring’s soft blossoms balanced the sharper lights of the city’s nightlife to provide endless inspiration for the thousands of designers in attendance. Brenda coupled the sights with topics from each of the panels and discussions to bring back a renewed excitement and the latest trends to share with her clients in Texas.

Jana Phipps was brilliant when educating on trends within embellishments and how fashion translates into design. I started my education and career in fashion and have always been fascinated with how the two so closely relate,” Brenda said.

Jana certainly brings the two together, utilizing trimmings and vintage jewelry to produce something extraordinary in her technique of Trim Alchemy. The “Trim Queen,” as most people in the industry know Jana, shared tips of how to embellish a design with various types of trimming in order to add pattern, contrast, self-expression, color and an artisanal feel to any design.

Trends of special interest to Brenda include the “floating” look achieved with acrylics, wider tapes and braids accented with pearl embellishments, mini tassels and a window pane effect on upholstery created by inset grosgrain ribbon. She found further inspiration in the use of leather in drapery through the Bespoke Leather Collection by Sarkis Studio.

Another highlight for Brenda came during her one-on-one chat with Grace McNamara, president of Window Fashion Vision Magazine and IWCE, and friend of CDD since 2009.

Brenda thanked Grace for another incredible year of industry trends, connections and inspiration.

Taking honorable mention in the boot contest rounded out Brenda’s experience with a fun and fabulous finish of which any Texan would be proud.

We’d love to share some of these new inspirations in your home. Contact us today to set up your in-home consultation! In the meantime, scroll down for more photos from our wonderful trip to Nashville.Contact Us

Photo Credit for the above two images goes to Kerry Woo Photography.

Custom Drapery Designs focuses on exquisite couture details that go beyond the shelf and outside of the ordinary to leave no detail unturned.

Custom Design Details

Custom Drapery Designs focuses on exquisite couture details that go beyond the shelf and outside of the ordinary to leave no detail unturned.

Custom Drapery Designs focuses on exquisite couture details that go beyond the shelf and outside of the ordinary to leave no detail unturned. We don’t stop with unique fabric and trims and hardware. By doing this, we make our clients’ spaces reach new levels of sophistication.

Creative Execution in Design

We love a challenge.

Odd-shaped windows, off-centered architecture, sharply curved bay windows and all the other characteristics that led you to choose your house—we strive to highlight these and make them shine without sacrificing aesthetics.

Custom Window Treatments

One way we achieve this is through custom templates. Window treatments don’t have to stick to the shapes we learned in preschool. Some of our favorite projects have included scalloped, sloped and other unusual edges.

Craftsmanship at Custom Drapery Designs

A second aspect to creative execution is a focus on high quality craftsmanship. Our artisans carefully eye each stitch, steam every wrinkle and smooth any ripple. We use only the best materials and then bring them together with the care and attention your space deserves.

Attention to Scale and Proportion

We’ve worked with many rooms where windows are offset in a wall or disproportionate to the size of the wall. These turn into some of our favorite projects.

In this media room, our challenge was a small rectangular window in a larger, sloping wall.

Taking the draperies up well above the actual window and covering it with clean, neutral fabrics created in classic styles make it look like it belongs perfectly in the space.

Combination of Varying Elements

This headboard and tufted ottoman exemplify how the unlikely marriage of softer natural elements and harder industrial trims and finishings works.

Opposites really do attract!

Accentuation of a Single Design Element

Sometimes taking a classic design technique and highlighting it is all the extra detail a design craves. Pleats are one of the most common finishing techniques in draperies; however, when we take one of these styles a little longer, we’ve produced something fresh that stands out. Each of these elongated pleats—goblet on the left; pinched on the right—draws the eyes in to the details and takes these panels to a whole new level.

Customization of Hardware

Hardware may be one of the first types of details that pop in your mind. We can use them in two different ways to kick up a design. The first way hardware adds to a design’s singularity is in its customization.

Traverse Rods by Custom Drapery Designs

Rather than shying away from sharp curves or odd angles, custom hardware allows us to accentuate them. This curved traverse rod makes the perfect frame for this stunning ripplefold drapery.

Addition of Layers

Floral Hardware by Custom Drapery Designs

Hardware also assists with layering details to heighten a design. In this floral covering, we copied the shapes of the flowers on the fabric in the hardware and brought them together with the whimsical flow of the ribbon. Each layer works together to produce a more full and fanciful finished product. The addition of the medallion hardware to the fabric-covered cornice board shown below enhances the look and adds a splash of “Wow!”

Medallion Hardware by Custom Drapery Designs

Beaded trim and tassels on pillows bring additional pop to custom bedding, pillows and throws. It’s in these little things that a design shifts from lovely to luxurious.

Each of these types of details in our designs makes them stand out and earns the trust and commitment of our clients.

Are you ready for some added details in your home’s design? Do you have an office that’s lacking some pizzazz? Contact us today to set up your in-person consultation.

More than anything else in our homes and offices, color sets the tone and palette for our feelings, productivity and life. Color choice may be the most powerful tool in our custom design arsenal.

The Power of Color

Color surrounds us every day; but it doesn’t stop there. It infuses us, stirring up emotions and evoking memories of people and places that have made us who we are. More than anything else in our homes and offices, color sets the tone and palette for our feelings, productivity and life.

Color choice may be the most powerful tool in our custom design arsenal.

Color is … Client-Inspired

When it comes to interior design, the power lies not with choosing “hot” tones or trendy shades; it lies instead with our clients. Stephanie Freeman, lead designer for Custom Drapery Designs, explains how this works for her.

“I watch the client very closely to see their immediate reaction to the materials I am presenting. Even a subtle change in expression will tell me which colors and patterns inspire them.”

Stephanie Freeman

This focus on client choice makes the end result completely worth it, according to Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of CDD.

“While presenting the design, when the client’s smile and expression become apparent—I know I’ve fulfilled their vision.”

Brenda Baxter

Color is … In the Details

Brenda and Stephanie love those client reactions. They make all the hard work and attention to detail that goes into each project worth every moment. Often, these results are achieved through the custom couture details for which CDD is known.

“Even adding a pop of colorful trim on an otherwise neutral treatment can be enough to make the client’s eyes light up and bring the design to life.”


The power of color relies on strategic placement more than overpowering amounts. Utilizing fabrics and trims with a higher color saturation leads to couture quality materials.

“Color direction is customer inspired, yet I take it a step or two further by embellishing with a variety of hues and elements of texture for the additional ‘wow’ factor!”


Color is … Popular

Pantone, the standard for color trends across design, fashion and graphics industries, promotes a color every year. Living Coral has been named the 2019 Color of the Year, and we love its bright, cheery tone.

We’re not alone in our appreciation!

“Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral, embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

Color is … Lasting

Trends do come and go, of course. While we find it fun and challenging to incorporate new colors in our designs, we also know certain colors stand the test of time.

Neutrals offer a canvas on which to toss a few power pops of color.

CDD clients frequently gravitate toward various hues of blue. Over the years, this has been the color that keeps filling our homes with warmth and beauty and witnessing all the memories made there.

Color is … YOU

Every person finds himself or herself instinctively drawn to certain colors. Sometimes, we use that natural bent to learn more about who we are.

Do you like red? You’re probably passionate, maybe a little courageous.

Are you sentimental or artistic? Perhaps violet’s more your color.

Whatever color you’re drawn to, CDD has the perfect design for you. Take a couple minutes to determine your ideal color palette, using this handy quiz from House Beautiful, then contact us today to set up your in-home consultation.

Let’s put some color in your year!

Custom Drapery Designs: Timeless, Not Trendy ... Tassels

Drapery Design

As designers, we look forward to all the shiny trends a new year brings. We consider the many exciting ways we can incorporate new styles, materials and textures in our custom designs. But, we also know the best designs aren’t here for one season and gone the next.

The greatest designs are timeless, not trendy.

Custom Drapery Designs focuses on a commitment to finished styles that last. To achieve this goal every time, we begin with our clients, seek out only the highest quality materials and trust the outstanding team that’s made us the successful full-service soft goods firm we are today.

It all begins with our client.

Our clients are the heart, soul and inspiration behind each project we tackle. We begin with an in-home consultation where we view the space with the homeowner and discover how they use this room (or rooms) and what their desires are for the design.

From there, we sketch out everything—draperies, custom furniture, bedding, accessories and whatever else is required—and return to our client with our vision. We bring our plan along with fabric swatches, trim samples and hardware options. These tangible offerings make the exquisite couture details we’re known for come alive.

Timeless designs showcase the heart of a family and the purpose in their home. This is what we strive for by building our design foundation on the client consultation. And, it doesn’t stop there. We remain in constant contact throughout the creative process to ensure our client’s preferences are met in each stage.

Fine quality materials make designs timeless, not timeworn.

Because our designs are client-driven, we want them to still look fantastic when the children who live there are grown. Our clients deserve to settle into their custom pillows as comfortably when they retire as they do when they finally get home after a long day at work.

That is why we only use the highest quality fabrics and trims and the most lasting woods and metals as the hardware to support them. These details are what makes a design sing, and we want this tune to be one that lasts a lifetime.

Custom Drapery Designs: Timeless, Not Trendy ... Tassels

A business is only as strong as the people behind it.

Our team excels at what they do. Beyond that, they love their jobs.

Brenda Baxter and Stephanie Freeman, our designers, thrive on connecting with clients and finding the perfect materials to create a finished product that exemplifies the family’s heart and accentuates all the positives of the home itself.

We have only the highest caliber workroom. At the helm of these sturdy, trustworthy tools and machines, our artisans take pride in each stitch, every layer and all the tucks and pleats that make our products unique.

Once all the pieces have been completed, our installation team brings it all together to produce a spectacular final product. They take their time to protect the client’s home while paying careful attention to the details of the design. They steam each panel and adjust every tassel until everything hangs, lays, covers and rests perfectly.

By the time a design is complete and ready to be viewed, homeowners often find themselves speechless.

CDD … timeless, not trendy.

For a quarter of a century now, Custom Drapery Designs has served homes and businesses with style. Through our stellar custom service and couture details, we strive to remain as timeless as the designs we create.

Thank you for opening your doors to us and allowing us to make your space a reflection of who you are—for life. Contact us today to set up your consultation and begin your journey toward timeless design.


Custom Upholstery

Custom Drapery Designs spreads its styles beyond the windows to deep within the heart of a home and finds ways to incorporate the best and brightest fabrics throughout a client’s design.

We’ve seen how unique windows require special custom designs and even how bathrooms can benefit from a fabric touch. This creative reach encompasses furniture as well, through custom upholstery.

Custom Drapery Designs Custom Upholstery Designs

Often, small pieces, such as an ottoman or two, bring a bold update to a small space. This entryway begged for something special. We loved the curved ceiling and saw great design potential in the inlaid space on either side of this wooden door frame.

This space runs alongside the dining room CDD won an international design award for earlier this year. The Italian plaster artist who turned that room’s ceiling into a masterpiece, worked the same magic on this entry’s ceiling.

After the owners saw the finished design of their dining room, they knew their entry needed to match the glamour. So, they asked CDD to give them a breathtaking view across their dining table as well.

As with most of our projects, it all began with a vision shared with our client through sketches and fabric samples. Custom embroidered panels utilized this exquisite Holland & Sherry fabric. Each panel accentuated what had been an odd recess on either side of the door, transforming them into works of art.

Topping off the look, custom-designed ottomans added to the depth and detail of the design. Ottomans provide a small and simple—but powerful—pop to a room. They hold the capacity to add dimension, color or functionality to a room.

Custom Bedroom Upholstery Design

In this bedroom, the clover-shaped velvet ottoman with elegant beaded Scalamandré trim hit all three uses. The trim matched well with the upholstered bed frame while the violet in the bedding and the ottoman provided a subtle color splash. The exquisite couture details we included in this design bring elegance to the bedroom.

Velvet Headboard by Custom Drapery Designs

Soft elegance crowns this bedroom design with its velvet queen headboard. We adorned it with diamond button tufting and nailhead trim. The custom pillows round out the updates with perfect pairing, making this a design to sink into.

Wingback Chairs Ottoman by Custom Drapery Designs

Each design we do brings us new challenges and opportunities. This room’s grand architecture and stately woodworking and glass panes demanded a sophisticated touch. Again, a custom touch made all the difference. With the carefully chosen fabrics and thoughtful placement of nailhead trim from Thibaut Design, we gave this room the furniture it deserved.

Custom Upholstery Master Bedroom by Custom Drapery Designs

These pillow-top ottomans include casters for easy moving and pair perfectly with the custom Barley Twist wingback chairs. The soft chenille upholstery works well with a Tuscany finished twist wood accent and pewter nailhead finish. Each little detail complements and accentuates the next.

Entryway Bench by Custom Drapery Designs

We do love those exquisite couture details, and this entryway provides a shining example of them. We added platinum legs to this custom bench for extra elegance. The nailhead trim carries the silver sheen throughout the design. Adding a little glitz to the custom pillows gave one final shimmery layer to top it all off.

Cube Ottomans by Custom Drapery Designs

The custom cube ottomans in this sitting area add both function and texture. The Pierre Frey fabric perfectly covers these pieces. This company knows upholstery fabric and has been producing high-quality options since 1935.

When we design a space, we like to envision the family living life and making memories in it. That’s something we can easily picture in this room.

How about you? Would you like some custom upholstery to spruce up your home or office? Contact us today to set up your in-home consultation.


International Design Awards

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs, accepted a well-deserved honor at this year’s VISION Design and Workroom Competition Awards Gala. CDD earned first place in Decorative Trim and Hardware at this prestigious international design competition.

International Design Award winner Brenda Baxter from Custom Drapery Designs

“I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with amazing clients who allow me the freedom of creative expression. This project began with the client frustrated with the room’s arch angles. The finish custom design softened the various arches with eye catching iron art combined with beautiful flowing silks and trim embellishments,” said Brenda.

This design’s richly flowing drapery begged for the exquisite couture details CDD includes in every project. Brenda chose a tassel braid decorative trim from Brimar along the lead edge. Matching medallion holdbacks and tassel tiebacks pulled the luscious coverings back on either side.

The waterfall of overlapping swags demanded an exquisite top. A custom wrought iron floral accent from Gaby’s Shoppe, an artisan iron company in Dallas, produced the perfect accompaniment to the custom arch cornice board.

Swag Valance by Custom Drapery Designs

To see the complete design and read more about the fabrics used in the custom draperies, see this post about some of the unique window designs CDD has tackled.

This honor, presented and sponsored by Window Fashion VISION magazine, makes CDD’s third recognition from this competition. In 2009, they brought home both first place in Drapery and Trim and the Award of Excellence.

Custom Drapery Designs brings the same striving for excellence and attention to detail to every design project. To begin the process toward your own award-worthy designs, contact us today!


CDD celebrates moms

 “For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.”

We are a company built on mothers

These words penned by William Ross Wallace in the 1800s are no less true today. Custom Drapery Designs admires, respects and applauds mothers everywhere because we are a company built on mothers. Let us share a little about the moms behind the magic of our designs.

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of CDD, raised this business from the talents and passions uncovered during her early years as a mom.

“As a young Mother I would sew bedding, drapery and pillows for my Mom. While tending to my newborn, a friend noticed my project and recommended this as a business,” Brenda recalls. “So, utilizing my marketing degree and passion for textiles, I did!”

In the beginning, Brenda did all of it herself

In the beginning, Brenda did it all—designing, sewing and installing each project. She even completed one installation on a ladder while 8 months pregnant!

“With continued growth and demand, my personal preference was to spend time with the clients and reach greater design potential with elegant couture details (which had surpassed my personal ability), so I began to introduce myself to professional workrooms and talented craftsmen and soon established the Custom Drapery Designs A-team.”

An established, 22-year old company now

Her attention to exquisite couture details brings us to today—22 years after the birth of her business baby. CDD continues to grow and expand while constantly reaching new heights of professional accomplishments and greater depths of client satisfaction.

Brenda’s husband of 27 years and their lovely children, two college graduates and one high school student, continue to support and encourage her talents and passions as she daily invests in their lives. She and her family love beach vacations and time on their boat. She loves immersing herself in art galleries and visiting Santa Fe. And, who could forget the importance of snuggle time with each of her fur babies!!

“While building Custom Drapery Designs, I managed the flexibility needed for my family—attending every class party, carpooling to every soccer practice—which was the priority. I am thrilled to recognize Custom Drapery Designs can now extend this opportunity to other Mothers while pursuing their passions as well,” Brenda says.


Stephanie Freeman—Lead Designer

Stephanie Freeman, CDD’s lead designer, couldn’t be happier with the professional opportunities and flexibility she has in working with Brenda.

“I have many passions in life: my faith, my family, travel and design. It wasn’t until I started working at Custom Drapery Designs that I felt the passions combine in a beautiful balance,” Stephanie shares.

Her education includes a degree in psychology and a degree in interior design from The Art Institute of Dallas. Stephanie began her career as an intern and progressed to a softgoods specialist at a leading design center and then to vice president of sales at an award-winning workroom.

Since joining Brenda’s team in 2014, Stephanie enjoys a family-friendly flexibility in her job. She may begin her week with busy days full of back-to-back client appointments, take a break for a Wednesday lunch date at her daughter’s school and then round out her week with a 3-day weekend getaway with her family.

“The beauty of the career is in the flexibility. My work can go where I go without skipping a beat!” she says. “Most of all, I love what I do and the people I work with. I am passionate about the beauty and creativity of custom window treatments and am thrilled to make it my career!”


Amy Linscheer—Social Media/Office Manager

Newest to the CDD team, Amy Linscheer began work a few short weeks ago as the social media/office manager. Amy’s past experiences include an advertising degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas (where she met her husband), account management for several advertising agencies, marketing management for another corporation and teaching at the elementary school level for more than 10 years.

She and her husband leapt at the opportunity to move back to their friends and favorite places in the Dallas area with their three children—ages 12, 10 and 4. Amy began searching for a job that would still allow her to be there for her kids when they need her. That search led her right to Brenda!

“It was such a blessing to find someone who put as much priority on family as well as business,” Amy says. “I can be home when my kids need me most and still be a part of a growing, creative, thriving company. It doesn’t get much better than that! Not to mention how fun it is to see beautiful fabric and designs every day while working with two very talented moms. It’s pretty amazing to see what Brenda’s accomplished all on her own, and I’m loving being able to work with both her and Stephanie.”


Joy Rancatore—Freelance Writer/Editor/Photographer

Joy Rancatore, a homeschooling mother of two, never imagined the wealth of information and inspiration in store for her when she joined the CDD team in 2010. As a freelance writer, editor and photographer, Joy enjoys the opportunity to write about Brenda and Stephanie’s fabulous designs, travel experiences and product favorites from her home in Slidell, La., where she lives with her husband of 10 years, their two children, an energetic labrador retriever and her 13-year-old feline baby.

“As a writer, I love to view the world through others’ eyes and keep a bit of their experiences for myself. Working with Brenda for the past nearly six years has taught me so much about the beauty and history of the textile and design industries. I have learned things and vicariously experienced opportunities I never would have been able to otherwise,” Joy says. “I look at fabrics and home designs with completely different eyes; and I have gotten to ‘know’ these amazing and inspirational moms a state away who share my passion for their families and their God-given talents. It’s truly an honor to be part of their team.”

So, from the moms at Custom Drapery Designs, we wish mothers everywhere a very happy and special “Moms’ Month” as you find your own ways to balance the beauty of motherhood and the fulfillment of taking your passions and turning them into a successful enterprise.


Textiles history comes alive

Limitless possibilities

Ever growing and ever adapting, the textile industry is a living, breathing creature. Technology, new creations and a world of influence weave together to produce patterns limitless in their possibilities. And, perhaps the greatest catalyst in the industry’s continued evolution and growth is its fascinating history.

Our fall 2015 trip to Paris

Pierre Frey embraces both the history and the future of textiles. And, they captured the hearts of the Custom Drapery Designs team during our fall 2015 trip to Paris.

The Pierre Frey showroom and museum archives houses fragile silk pieces dating to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. These protected pieces simply took our breath away and fueled our creative side…as they do for the artisans at Pierre Frey!


Sophie Rouart, Director of Heritage of the Pierre Frey house spent hours sharing her passion for these materials with us during our tour. She showed us each piece and gave us details on the history behind them. Delicious silks are preserved in drawers by century and continue to live through the reproductions they inspire.


Designers eye antique fabrics and draw the designs to scale on graph paper. They alter thread choices and the patterns’ sizes, giving birth to a modern interpretation of these lovely preservations. As their website declares, “This is an art that imitates life to inspire and delight.”

Pierre Frey proudly preserves more than antique fabrics. They embrace centuries-old techniques in order to reproduce period textiles. The company, which began in 1935, purchases fabric mills which boast a history of mastery in their craft. These mills often still work with their original looms.


Several houses purchased by Pierre Frey include Braquenié, which was founded in 1824; Fadini Borghi, an Italian-born house specializing in silks; and Boussac, a house with a more modern focus. At the heart of Pierre Frey are the people who work there, and the company values family as well as fine craftsmanship. We visited with Pierre Frey, son of the founding Pierre Frey, during our visit.

Textiles have been a huge part of life since Adam and Eve discovered the need for clothes. But, over time, this need has developed into a passion and a search for the unique while keeping in touch with its origins. Textiles have brought the world together through trade and inspiration. From the Silk Road to the traditions of the fabric mills of North France to the first U.S. factory and the Father of the Industrial Revolution in America, Samuel Slater, textiles have developed over time, layering the rich heritage of the past with the global awareness and new ideas of the present and the technological advancements in production and materials of the future.

Brenda Baxter, Stephanie Freeman

CDD loves clients…and it shows!


Best of Houzz for Customer Service Award—4 years in a row!

Custom Drapery Designs seeks to put the client first in every aspect of a design challenge, and this customer service has been recognized…again!

CDD recently earned the Best of Houzz for Customer Service Award for the fourth year in a row. Houzz boasts the largest residential design database in the world and offers users online tools to pool design preferences in one place to share with professionals or clients. Houzz awards recognition based on several aspects, including the number and quality of reviews a professional receives from more than 25 million monthly users. With 5-star client ratings across the board on CDD’s Houzz profile, it’s easy to see why we’re consistently honored with this award—thanks to our amazing clients!


“We take great pride in our work and the attention to detail that goes into every project. It is a huge honor to be acknowledged by our clients and peers for our continued dedication to our craft,” said Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs.

Visit our Houzz page to check out the video profile Brenda recently recorded. And, give us a call to set up your in-home consultation today!


Inspiration marches our way

Spring easily lends itself to being the most inspirational season, with pops of color bursting forth and promises of warmth and newness. Already Custom Drapery Designs has had inspiration pouring in with new design products from long-time favorite companies as well as gorgeous items from some new-found friends.

“Pure Love. Pure Luxury.”—that’s a tagline CDD can get on board with! Pyar&Co. found its genesis in the union of a dream and true love. When Paula Queen travelled to India to celebrate her marriage to her husband, Sumit, inspiration bound her dream and her love together for better or worse. She began this company in 2011 and named it Pyar, Hindi for “love.” Her dream: to embrace the bold and beautiful colors, patterns and embellishments found in the traditional Indian sari as well as the great quality products found in India—hand-dyed threads, luxurious fabrics and one-of-a-kind beads, sequins and other embellishments.

Brenda Baxter, CDD owner and principal designer, and Stephanie Freeman, CDD’s lead designer, simply flipped over the Pyar&Co. pearl and metallic luxurious braid trim they saw during the International Window Coverings Expo in Las Vegas earlier this year. Each detailed pearl or bead in these trims works together to enhance a lovely luxurious feel in window dressings.


Other fabric elements that stood out to the CDD team were these creative pleated headings. The richness in both color and fabric choice offers a bold, yet simple effect for any window. And, these particular pleated and gathered styles add a delicate feminine touch without overdoing it, making it a welcome addition to any living area of the home.

Textured Pillows

Surya rugs and textured pillows continue to be huge CDD favorites, just like last year. This company never ceases to inspire! Another company that caught CDD’s eye at the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market was Ambella Home Collection.

Ambella upholstery

These fabrics are perfect for upholstery and come in a wide range of deep, rich solids and unique globally-inspired patterns.

Brenda said, “The upholstery pieces were stunning and we absolutely fell in love with the fabric collections; so we ordered fabrics for our design studio library. Love!”

Another inspirational company, Aidan Gray offers additional options for upholstery pieces and other design accents as well as beautiful chandeliers. So many design choices!


Fabric’s not the only inspiring element around these days! The natural richness of wood sets any design apart and brings depth and warmth to a home.

A fast-growing company, Tableaux, produces intricate and gorgeous decorative grilles. While these custom creations can serve as partitions or dividers, accents and ceiling treatments, they also make a grand statement above windows. And, they come in a variety of finishes and sizes to fit every need perfectly. The design options in these pieces are plentiful and they are sure to make an impressive statement in any room.

wooden tassels

Smaller wooden accents like these ornate tassels by Aidan Gray still bring a big impact to a window’s design. They are statement pieces. Wooden tassels are perfect additions to valances, draperies and any other tiebacks.

art work with cornice2

Wooden cornices add such a wow factor to any window, but they’re made for more than simply adorning windows. LeCorniche, based in Dallas, creates decorative custom cornices that also perfectly crown beds, pieces of art and door frames. These pieces of art are a designer’s dream because the opportunities to take a design to the next level abound with wooden cornices.

Wooden cornices also come in handy to cover up rods that may be more functional than fashionable as well as any of the amazing new motorization options available today that make life easier, but may not be the easiest on the eyes.

Speaking of motorization—we are loving all the new options available!


Orion’s manual and motorized traversing systems allow homeowners functional fashion that definitely doesn’t need to be covered. Orion’s Somfy Motorization adds an element of ease to window design; but their commitment to style is not lost. With 58 hand-painted décor finishes, three different styles and sizes and 30 finial varieties to choose from, these systems are available for any style and design.

And, of course, Hunter Douglas continues to lead the way with their sleek and stylish PowerView™ Motorization, the 2015 Design Innovation winner. Right now is the perfect time to install new window fashions. Hunter Douglas is offering a $100 Energy Smart Style Rebate Promotion now through April 11. Contact Custom Drapery Designs today for more information.


2016 rings in design promises

New years, like new rooms to design, hold so much promise and anticipation—blank canvases with infinite possibilities. Making the end results the absolute best they can be requires using the highest quality products available. Custom Drapery Designs loves opportunities to discover new products and the inspiration they bring.

As we showed in December, CDD appreciates handmade items and searches for companies that take pride in craftsmanship and discover innovative ways to blend traditional techniques with modern touches. Tuell and Reynolds in California fits that description perfectly.


College friends Randy Tuell and Victoria Reynolds introduced their hand-crafted fire screens, furniture, lighting and sculptures in 2003. Working out of an old feed store, this team of designers and artists produces simply stunning metal work and creates each piece specifically for each client. In addition to the items they are most known for, Tuell and Reynolds produces sleek and stylish drapery hardware. With five styles of hardware and four finish choices for each, these rods make the perfect choice for many designs.

Marjorie Skouras Design is another California company committed to handcrafted, detailed designs that give homage to the traditional in the modern and bring a global flair to any room. Marjorie’s style “is rooted in the traditional, but has evolved over the years into a slightly surrealist realm, and playfulness is a constant element.” She uses semi-precious materials throughout her products and showcases color in delightful ways.


Recently, the turquoise stone tiebacks caught the eye of CDD’s lead designer, Stephanie Freeman. “Upon entering this new showroom—Cory Pope and Associates—I was immediately struck by the vivid colors of these unique pieces,” Stephanie shares. “There is no better example of the fashion and design industry relationship than truly making semi-precious stones into jewelry for your windows.”


Bright colors, like those in these lovely beads, pair nicely with Pantone’s Colors of the Year. That’s right COLORS, plural! The soft, gentle brushes of color in Rose Quartz and Serenity set a tranquil mood for 2016 and promise an even more amazing year of design than 2015. The decisions to embrace two colors this year and to go softer in hue were intentional to contrast against the conflicts and stress of the world in which we live.

“Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

Lori Carpenter, owner of The Grapevine Home in Arkansas; Marcia Boatwright, owner of Blinds, Drapery, & Design in Oklahoma; Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs in Texas; and Stephanie Freeman, CDD’s lead designer enjoyed catching up and sharing inspiration during the 2016 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and International Window Coverings Expo in Las Vegas.

Brenda Baxter, CDD owner and principal designer, discovered even more amazing products to use and companies to partner with in the new year during the International Window Coverings Expo and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas and the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, both in January. So many new inspirations to uncover!

CDD looks forward to incorporating some of these new ideas in a huge project this year. Brenda and her team will be redecorating the window treatments in the more than 6,000-square-foot ballroom at Tanglewood Resort & Conference Center in Pottsboro, Texas. Overlooking Lake Texoma, this resort is a go-to destination for any occasion; and CDD cannot wait to highlight its inner beauty while perfectly framing the outside scenery.

Photo Sep 04, 10 54 33 AM


Photo Sep 04, 10 54 33 AM

Good design in a room opens up conversation and sets the stage for memories, inspiration and so much more. When that design includes handmade elements, the room becomes a story teller.

At Custom Drapery Designs, we love to tell stories; which is why each design we complete is unique to each home owner and completed with the best quality materials. Any handmade materials used are simply the icing on the cake; but every completed project CDD does is a hands-on process from concept to installation.

Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer, says: “Custom couture or handmade art alludes delicate details with breathtaking quality and professional craftsmanship. I believe couture quality is the broad scope understanding of both the nature of fabric and confidence in creativity. The value of couture or ‘handmade’ is understood when realizing the value of delicate personalized detail created by an artist. We consider our drapery design as art with individualism and the understanding of the nature of textiles and decorative elements. CDD teams with workrooms who are proven professional craftsmen with outstanding care given to the tiniest of detail. Together, building ‘wow’ factor.”

During Brenda’s September visit to Paris and the MAISON&OBJET Observatoire de la Maison, she spent time examining the materials of two companies that share her passion for these details—STRIGO and Maison Fey. These two companies are different because of their age—one still a young company; the other, more of a historical institution—but both commit themselves to quality in the details.

Photo Sep 04, 10 54 02 AM

STRIGO’s origin comes from two sisters’ journey across the legendary Silk Road and their visits with ancient trade towns along the way. Cathrin and Tina Ott took a trip they will never forget and discovered embroideries that planted the seeds of their very own company. Four short (but full) years ago, these sisters committed to bringing “the richness of the ancient textile technique to a modern and professional level” through STRIGO. One year after its founding, the Munich-based company enjoyed a very successful debut at MAISON&OBJET in 2012. So, early on, the company’s dedication to the details earned them international applause.

Photo Sep 04, 4 19 10 PM (1)

Each material with the STRIGO stamp of approval comes from family-based artisanal workshops in Germany and Uzbekistan. Brenda loved meeting the sisters and found herself surrounded by inspiration while browsing their bedspreads, custom embroidery throws and lovely cushions, which are paired with individually-chosen linings such as alpaca fur, cashmere, goat suede, handwoven silk and linen.

From the beginning of the process, the customer chooses each detail of his or her finished product, including the color and linings. According to STRIGO’s website, “The embroideries for a throw alone take a well-versed artisan three months to make.”

Brenda knows her clients agree that handmade items and custom-designed pieces are well worth the wait. It’s all about the story and the journey of taking quality materials and turning them into a unique masterpiece.

Maison Fey, at more than 105 years old, knows something about that journey. The leather craftsmen at this Paris company complete a five- to seven-year internal training in order to produce leather products that are simply works of art on fine Cordoba leather.

“What caught my eye was the art the craftsmen created with stamped leather,” Brenda said. “They apply a stamped design to a thick cardboard before actually applying to the leather of choice. I was so impressed with the precision and attention to detail even with the cardboard sample that I bought their remnant for myself. I began to think of how this technique could be applied to window treatments. A stamped leather cutting would look outstanding featured as a cornice board with beautiful silk or textured fabrics draping from underneath. Creating a conversation piece!”

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The embossed cardboard piece shown is used by the craftsmen to practice before the actual leather is stamped. Then, this leather can be used as textured wallpaper that can be painted to any chosen color. As we examined in last month’s blog, bringing texture to the walls takes design to another dimension.

Each detail of a design works together to create a completed masterpiece that fits a home and its owner; and, when those details come from such intricate processes, it makes the story one worth sharing from generation to generation.

Stroheim trim

Custom Drapery Designs delights in the importance and prominence of texture in design. This lovely detail transforms a flat design to a multi-dimensional experience; and, many times, accessories offer the best examples of texture.

During Brenda Baxter’s trip to Paris in September, she collected new and exciting products with which to add extra dimensions to future designs. (See last month’s blog sharing some of the inspiration she brought back across the ocean.) Her hotel even got her creative juices flowing and inspired her to snap this photo while resting from her walking tours of the city. Hotel d’Aubusson may very well inspire some upcoming designs! The lobby boasts magnificent elegant draperies which perfectly complement the rustic beams. And, ideally placed accessories bring it all together to make a perfectly-designed package.

Art provides a great starting point for adding depth to a design. Like we saw last time, many fabrics are art pieces in themselves and create an extra dimension or make a fantastic statement to set a room apart. This lovely example of Graffiti Art fabric from Jean Paul Gaultier adds a pop of modern flair to an older furniture style. This chair coupled with a solid drapery background brings both elegance and fashion to any room.


Brenda browsed several showrooms in Paris, including Èlitis. She was particularly drawn to their Artémis and Algaé collections with larger-than-life prints on cotton-linen mix sheers. These flowy fabrics provide the perfect canvas for
watercolor-inspired designs. Artémis brings a pop of color through its detailed flowers. Algaé mimics the colors and shapes of elements in nature from lily pads on a pond to moss encircling a great tree to the variations in color shades in the waters in a lake. These collections bring the outdoors in and add the illusion of stepping into a magical spot somewhere in the great expanse of nature. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the mystical notes of fairies and dryads.


Pillows, throws and rugs join art as great starting points for a design. Custom pillows can mimic the colors and textures of a room’s draperies and add depth and warmth to any space. These lovely pillows on display in the Lelievre Paris showroom show the range of possible options with this accessory—dark colors, light colors, patterned, simple, decorated with tassels and trims…the possibilities are as varied as people and their styles! Lelievre embraces the history of fabrics and carries those ideals into modern times with rich, luxurious fabrics and sensuous silks paired brilliantly with timeless solids.


Pairing more busy patterns with solids offers great design potential. And, don’t shy away from lighter colors…even white or off-white—be prepared to hear much more on that in 2016! Also, check out these simply elegant stonewashed linen pillows from the Èlitis Veda collection. We love the contrast of the deep violet with the white and the detailed decorative stitching along the seams—simply making a statement! A careful mixture of textiles adds dimension to a room as well. A great design can mix and match silks, linens and velvets through the use of properly-placed accessories. The depth and added dimension multiple fabric types bring to design opens the door to a new horizon for interior styles. Pairing rugs and throws that play off one another in texture and style pumps up a design.

Stroheim trim

During a recent installation, Custom Drapery Designs chose some new trimmings from Stroheim to add some custom pizzazz to a room. Brenda chose this Nuage in Moss trimming by Charles Faudree. An interior designer and philanthropist, Faudree passed away in 2013; but not before making a great impact on the design community. Within his collection on Stroheim’s website he is quoted as saying, “You can have a lot invested in throw pillows with trims and fringes. But, it’s the frosting on the cake; the detail that really makes a room…it’s important.”

elitis pillows

While touring the Èlitis showroom in Paris, Brenda swooned over their decorative pillows. She looks forward to using a number of them in upcoming designs. These “art pieces,” as she refers to them,  come in a variety of sizes, highlighting the company’s signature large patterns and solids with tiny lip cord accents that add a signature finishing touch. It’s these exquisite couture details that Custom Drapery Designs seeks out for our clients and their designs. It’s in life’s little details that the greatest beauty often lies.

elitis wallcovering

One final way to achieve great depth in design is through textured walls. That’s right—texture comes across in way more than fabrics! Stamped wallcoverings, like this one from Èlitis, simply tie a room all together and add depth in a surprisingly refreshing way. These wallcoverings feature “natural plant materials in wood, bamboo and paper mâché” and create “a world of walls made up of simplicity and sophistication.”

While modern technologies allow many new textiles and colors and patterns, handmade items retain their unique values. Clients do not mind waiting for fabrics that are hand-painted or hand-sewn. Handmade rugs, like we saw in a previous post, are in high demand. The stories behind these pieces and the obvious attention to detail in the work make for timeless additions to any room’s design. Join us next time for a closer look at the beauty of handmade textiles and get ready to chat with some industry leaders whose commitment to handmade captured CDD’s attention.




Inspiration fuels design and truly is Precious. Custom Drapery Designs’ owner and principal designer Brenda Baxter brought home more than souvenirs from her experience at the MAISON&OBJET Observatoire de la Maison in Paris. She brought home Precious inspiration—and lots of it!

This September showcase of lifestyle trends embraced the theme PRECIOUS. As MAISON&OBJET explains, “But, while all that is valuable is precious, preciousness does not hold the same value for everyone.” The simplicity of time and space can be as precious as objects such as gold and fine gems or even as precious as something as priceless as life.


While in The City of Light, Brenda discovered numerous sources of inspiration for her clients’ designs through fabric companies and through the history and sights surrounding her during her adventures. One such historical site, the Moulin Rouge, tossed inspiration in Brenda’s path as she strolled for more than 7 miles throughout Paris, soaking up French culture.


The Moulin Rouge opened in 1889 as a cabaret that would be remembered to this day. The venue mixed dancing, theater, circus acts and music. The Moulin Rouge became famous (or infamous) for the introduction of the French Can-Can dance. We can imagine the swoosh and flash of color as the talented dancers would kick high their long legs. This inspiration begs to be replicated in the flow and frill of modern draperies. And, the bright red facade of the cabaret longs to find its way into a home design along with the accompanying white and black accents.

At the Lelièvre Paris showroom, Brenda swooned over “Century,” a fabric pattern created for their 100-year anniversary.

As their website reveals: “It is with contemporary flair that Lelièvre conveys 100 years of history and styles through the ages with ‘Century’. Using colours fading from prune to gold or grey to silver, our combination of flocked patterns unite and fly away to conquer the new century.”

In this stunning fabric, the traditional styles of the past flow into a modern interpretation by opening into a more free design which symbolizes the future.

Another inspirational design comes from the streets of Paris and promotes the idea that inspiration from art can be found anywhere; often in the most unlikely of places. We share with you Graffiti Art.


“Lelièvre Paris showroom also featured other fabric lines,
yet I was drawn to one in particular: Jean Paul Gaultier,” Brenda shared. “It is not typically my style. What struck me was the art and unique prints and application.
When you think of French style, you think of it having traditional 17th-18th century appeal. But, no! There is modern influence included within the traditional.”

“Underground,” the chiseled black and white velvet fabric featured above,  lends itself perfectly to upholstery and transforms plain furniture into a delightful statement piece as we will see in our next blog. Graffiti Art blends beautifully with more traditional French designs and widens the possibilities of interior design.


Pierre Frey fabrics, a French maison de luxe, finds that embracing the art of French streets fits perfectly with its mission of a “family-owned business with a proud tradition which looks towards the future.” This “Eighty Thirty” fabric in the Pierre Frey Street Art Collection celebrates 80 years of the Maison and 30 years of the fabric’s artist, Toxic.

An American artist, Toxic used buildings and trains in New York as his earlier canvasses. Through his art he speaks out against discrimination and violence against the African American community.


The MAISON&OBJET showcase also highlighted a trending focus on Precious textures. Like we examined in our August blog, velvets are back in high demand. The sensual feel of velvet used as upholstery or draperies or accessories adds timeless tradition and a royal feel to any room. The softness of velvet comforts, beckons and soothes while wrapping one in elegance and ecstasy.

Brenda perused the 2015 Collection of rich fabrics at the Elitis showroom in Paris. One of her favorite choices was the luscious and inviting Tsar velvets. These fabrics come in deeply stunning solid colors ranging from bright hues guaranteed to make a statement to cozy earth tones which invite some wintertime hibernation.


Another of Brenda’s favorite velvet collections comes from l’Opificio in Turin, Italy, and was introduced during the show in Paris. The Italian company is a family affair, started by sisters Paola and Barbara Bertoldo in 1998, and a cultural beacon, focused on bringing the traditions of Italy into the modern household. l’Opificio offers five velvet collections, including Silk Velvets and Viscose Velvets and Brenda’s top pick, Kid-Mohair Velvet. These fabrics, available in 11 delicious colors, come from 100% kid-mohair wool, taken from the first shearing of an Angora goat within its first 10 months of life.

We will share more of Brenda’s l’Opificio favorites for design accessories as well as more Paris inspirations in the next blog; but, for now, take a peek behind the scenes as Barbara Bertoldo shares her creative process and vision for marrying Italian traditions with contemporary styles and trends in this video. Such a marriage produces truly Precious products for interior designs.

wooden tassl picture

Detailed art defines design

wooden tassl picture

Art and design frequently overlap; and Custom Drapery Designs seeks for ways to make this happen in each room we complete. Bringing intricate artistic aspects into the details of design results in those exquisite couture details that take a design to the next level and make CDD  stand out.

We look for ways to take our clients’ rooms to the next level with the products we use—like this rich material from Fabricut’s French General Collection, Josephine in Rural Red. We paired it with a double row of 5/8″ decorative gimp from another favorite company—Duralee—and added these fabulous wooden tassels from Aidan Gray.

Patina holdback
Patina holdback room

Often, it’s the “little” things that produce the largest impact. Samuel & Sons’ Patina Collection is a grouping of delicious holdbacks inspired by Alexander Calder’s jewelry and is appropriately called “jewelry for the home.” Give your home some shine and glamour with these drapery accessories, like this Zanzibar metal holdback which pairs nicely with lovely, simple chocolate draperies.

Kravet acrylic hardware

Kravet offers more stunning examples of the “little” things in their acrylic drapery hardware collections. The most recent additions come from their Modern Luxe Collection which includes acrylic finials paired with tasteful metal accents. With many options encompassing various styles, Kravet has something for every design.

Art is a world-wide language that can be spoken through many mediums: sculptures, paintings, clothing, home goods, fabrics and home accents.


Samuel & Sons brings the graceful art of Asia into your home with their Shangri-La Collection of intricately designed, hand-beaded, silk and linen borders. The art in each option could hold an admirer’s eye for many moments and the colors and designs pair perfectly with many beautiful fabrics to create draperies, pillows and furniture that are truly works of art. This is the company’s third collaboration with designer Roger Thomas. He reflected on the inspiration for the collection on his recent blog.


Fabric can be a canvas itself, as shown in Lee Jofa’s Artisan Collection of hand-blocked fabric. We can thank our friends in China and India for introducing the intricacies and unique results of block printing. In order to produce many lovely repeating patterns, a skilled craftsman precisely carves a wooden block which he then transfers from a particular ink onto the linen he is decorating. The process is long, but the end product is breathtaking and special—no two are alike. Custom Drapery Designs loves the opportunities we get to share our passion for art in design with the wonderful clients who entrust their homes to us.


Design trends transcend time and space—Part 2

In our July blog, we explored some timeless styles and trends and visited some industry leaders. Their fabrics offer Custom Drapery Designs the quality, beauty and breathtaking statements with which we love to grace our clients’ homes. This month we dive deeper into our world of interior design fashions and the styles that speak today.


Gary Searle, Vice President of Sales and Merchandising for Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils, provided us a wealth of information on the modern interpretation of traditional design at a presentation we attended in May. He went on to share with us the latest 2015 collections. We caught his excitement and fell in love with the lovely patterns and varied fabric choices he shared. We found this Talavera cotton and linen print from Brunschwig & Fils particularly lovely.

The Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils partnership beautifully marries timeless classics with modern twists. It all goes back to Zelina Brunschwig’s mantra: “Good design is forever.” Mrs. B was so right, and those carrying out her legacy with the companies today continue her focus. Textile artists and designers carefully choose just the right colors to present the best interpretation—or re-interpretation—of those timeless designs. In this video, Stephen Elrod, Vice President and Creative Director for Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils, explains the process of reviving designs.

Color and bold patterns take center stage these days. Don’t be afraid to make a statement with a powerful pop! Layering is key in taking a design from nice to spectacular. You can layer not only complementary colors and patterns, but also various textures to add depth to any room’s decor.

LIZZO Fabrics

Texture finds a prominent place in designs. It’s not enough for your home to look stunning and unique. Touch brings fabric to life and exudes a host of emotions with it. One of our favorites—velvet—has risen back to power with its royal feel and luxurious texture. LIZZO, one of the companies we featured last month, brings us their FAME Collection of velvets. These fabrics melt on fingertips and bewitch the eyes with their shimmering finish. A delicious velvet fabric can really make the perfect foundation for any room and partner brilliantly with accents of a rougher texture, perhaps a muslin or a tip of the hat to a Scottish countryside with tweed or a linen with a hint of wool.

Lien Wool Pillow by Custom Drapery Designs in Dallas, TX

Speaking of wool: The Mulberry Home Bohemian Romance Collection offers velvets, chenilles, weaves and wools. The samples above of herringbones and tweeds showcase the depth of colors and the subtle, yet powerful textures they carry. The rich, homey fabrics in this collection simply invite you in to stay for a while. The Bohemian Romance wools, specifically the Ancient Tartan Lambswool, exemplify the trend of using dyed wools and wools with a heathered look in interior designs.


The Homes & Gardens Fabric Awards recognized Bohemian Romance as its 2014 Best Fabric Collection and awarded further prestige with the Best Woven Fabric honor going to Bohemian Paisley. These Awards have focused on “outstanding achievement in British Design” since 2004; and this collection was a worthy victor.

What can we expect for interior design in the next five years or so? Well, get ready for a trip Back to the Future to snag some 80s trends that are not gone forever! Paint the welcome banners for balloon shades, cotton chintz and pops of pink!


Book In-Home Consultation

HD July-September Rebate Info

…To save on fabulous new window dressings! Call Custom Drapery Designs today to book your in-home consultation and professional measurement for amazing new shadings from Hunter Douglas. Silhouette® Window Shadings’ special design diffuses harsh sunlight and only lets the best of nature’s rays into your home. Custom Drapery Designs looks forward to working with you to make your home shine!


Design trends transcend time and space

Make the Old, Fresh!

We’ve glimpsed the future of interior design fashion, and we can’t wait to share it with you! These new trends marry perfectly with Custom Drapery Designs’ approach to each project. Today’s emphasis is a modern interpretation of traditional design—utilizing layers, personalization and mixtures—capped off with exquisite trim and embellishments to bring it all together and to provide our clients with one-of-a-kind exquisite couture details.

Custom Drapery Designs Cloth in Dallas, TX

This is what we’re all about—amazing styles. They excite and drive us to create the best spaces for our clients. And, to provide the best in design, we look to the best in the textiles business for inspiration and for show-stopping quality. Brunschwig & Fils certainly believes in quality, and their fabrics bear witness to their commitment to good design. In fact, their mantra—”Good design is forever”—which was first uttered by Zelina Brunschwig (better known by those who loved her as Mrs. B), encapsulates the heart of today’s new design trends.

Long known for color, many of the Brunschwig & Fils fabrics today bring stylish neutrals to the design table as well. The company has actively carried the great designs of the late 1800s and early 1900s throughout the decades while making them fresh all along the way.

Mrs. B, daughter-in-law of the company’s founder, infused her passion for lasting looks into the business when she took the lead in 1941 while her husband, Roger E. Brunschwig, fought in World War II. Her resourcefulness and creativity carried the company through the somber time of war, and the company remains an industry leader today. Their story is one of perseverance and passion and love of lasting style. This video explores the Brunschwig & Fils history and Mrs. B’s influence that is still felt today throughout the design world:

Design Trends Of Spring 2014 by Custom Drapery Designs

Part of the Brunschwig & Fils family, Jagtar originated in British India and Thailand more than a century ago. Their exquisite silk fabrics have been featured world-wide by leading architects, designers and decorators. The flowing solids, textures, stripes and jacquards grace the cabins of private yachts and jets and welcome weary travelers into luxury resorts and hotels. Custom Drapery Designs delights in using such high-quality fabric to breathe a gentle air of beauty and sophistication into clients’ homes. Silk fabrics have long been the ultimate in style and bring a global feel to any design simply through their creamy touch. Jagtar’s commitment to quality craftsmanship inspires confidence and appreciation for this beautiful fabric. Watching these fabrics take form and come to life is breathtaking. Take a look at the intricate process with this informative video:

Current design trends travel through both time and space. As we explored in our June blog, inspiration comes from all around the world. With the Internet and endless communication possibilities as well as manageable international travel, bringing the world into our homes has never been more achievable. Interior design has embraced these opportunities and gives us a new style: Global Ethnic.

We have clients who are seasoned world travelers and clients who may not have a passport at all; but, either way, the world can live in their homes. Often travelers desire to wrap a room’s designs around a treasure from an adventure…perhaps a tapestry, a rug, a pillow, a piece of art or a bit of fabric. Others choose to welcome home far and exciting places through colors, tones and patterns that reflect the influences of distant regions. Sample the world!


LIZZO, an infant company with grown-up sophistication and a global palette, hails from Spain; but has already spread throughout Europe. Designers in the United States have taken notice and are bringing LIZZO’S quality and depth to their clients. New 2015 collection offerings include inspiration from 19th century Romanticism, the Roaring Twenties, traditional British styles and the “Paris of America,” New Orleans.

Fabrics include sheers with stunning finishes for a vintage or shabby chic affect and embody fil coupe, the extra floating wefts that lend to use as a delightful fringe effect, and exposed jute yarns, which create great dimension. Fabric like this breathes life into draperies. They lift draperies from lovely to marvelous and add dimension and charm to design. LIZZO offers lovely contrast between sheen and matte textiles, and the company masterfully blends traditional with contemporary. Their fabrics evoke a multitude of emotions.

Join us next month as we further explore old-made-new fashion trends and Global Ethnic touches through more delicious fabrics!


Hunter Douglas motorization boasts a “crowning touch”

Hunter Douglas Products by Custom Drapery Designs

Technology, function, safety and beauty converge in Hunter Douglas’ fabulous window treatments; and the company continues to raise the bar when it comes to motorization.

Today we celebrate the release of the brand new PowerViewMotorization; and, as a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer, Custom Drapery Designs looks forward to installing many shades, sheers and panels with this new technology for our awesome clients! Let us brag a little bit about this new motorization; and, when you catch the PowerViewexcitement, give us a call to set up your custom measurement appointment!

We could devote an entire blog post to the fashion, design, artfulness and customization of Hunter Douglas products…and, I believe, we have. So, for this post, we’re just going to talk about the amazing features the PowerViewMotorization adds to some of these gorgeous treatments.

The biggest benefit this technology offers you is simplicity. You can create personalized shade settings for each room of your house, adjust your window treatments at any time and schedule motorization of your coverings to increase energy efficiency in your home. And, each of these steps happens with the tap of your finger. The PowerView™ App can handle the controls from your Apple® iOS or Android mobile devices; and, with RemoteConnect, you can even adjust your shadings from the other side of the globe!

Or, add a fun touch to your decor with the PowerView™ Pebble™ remote. This palm-size helper comes in seven stylish colors to match your surroundings while offering you ease of handling. You can adjust shades for optimal light, temperature or privacy control from anywhere in your home.


This wireless technology is pet and kid-friendly and comes with either battery or plug-in power options.

Hunter Douglas sums it up best: “PowerView motorization merges seamlessly with a connected lifestyle and provides a level of ease and convenience that is the crowning touch for Hunter Douglas window treatments.”

Reaching for your phone yet?

All Hunter Douglas products are backed by their lifetime guarantee; and Custom Drapery Designs gives you a professional measurement and installation of your new window coverings. Call us today to discover “The Art of Window Dressing”!


Inspiration beats global rhythm


Inspiration beats as the heart of design. Because designers and artisans find inspiration wherever they may find themselves, the world stands as the ultimate palette for fabric, fashion, design and handcrafts. Custom Drapery Designs brings the world home for many of our clients.

We did just that for one special client with this beautiful embroidered cherry blossom fabric with crystal finial hardware. Brenda Baxter, CDD’s owner and principal designer, shares: “Our client’s home already boasted globally-inpired designs, featuring art and accent pieces collected from all over the world. The embroidered details paired with delicately carved crystal finials strike the right balance with soft light refraction and delicate movement—a perfect complement to our client’s  interior.”

fabric samples
Lee Jofa Willow Lake BlueCream P2009010.5

Fabricut looks to East Asia’s delicately whispering cherry blossoms for its  embroidery on a linen/cotton blend. Part of the Nikara collection, this fabric with its soft cream background promises to add an elegant allure to any room while breathing comfort and welcome to all who enter. Lee Jofa offers two Asian-inspired options that are beautiful in blue. Jardin Chinois cotton fabric brings softness and sophistication to designs and Willow Lake wallpaper in blue and cream carries a global theme onto the walls for a more bold statement.

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Europe has long been a rich source of inspiration in design. We included these show-stopping custom pillows and matching ottomans in a recent living room design. The pillows feature glass bead braid with French welt accent trim in burlap linen. These are the exquisite couture details CDD loves to highlight. Just like no one’s ever fully dressed without a smile; a design is never fully dressed without its details. And, global inspiration doesn’t have to be a room’s central feature like draperies or wall coverings or even upholstery on a large sofa. Often, a punch of fabric through pillows or ottomans or other room accessories make the most powerful statements.


A few years ago, inspiration came through for us while we enjoyed a traditional meal from the comfort of pillows on the ground in a tent in the Dubai desert. Brenda Baxter snapped a photo of the light from a lamp casting dancing patterns along the background of this brilliant burgundy tent.

This moment, coupled with unexpected brilliant hues lining our path at the spice markets, carried us home on wings of plans, ideas and dreams for future design projects. Inspiration rises from nature, art, other designs, light and even smells or sounds.

At the 2015 International Window Coverings Expo in January, CDD reunited with an outstanding company—Surya. Surya brings Indian inspiration and texture to the table! They offer a number of pillows and poufs rich with not only color and bold patterns but also with texture. Often, the extra “layers” that accessories like these add to a design simply “make” the whole project come together; and Surya’s materials definitely offer the perfect finishing touches.

In Ugapur, India, Surya’s employees make intricate wool rugs by hand from the wool selection process to spinning and dyeing and finally to cleaning and packing. Some take a week to make. Hand-knotted rugs—”the ultimate in Surya craftsmanship”—can take more than a year. Textures and layers are all hand-cut. The beauty, rich texture and unrivaled quality of these rugs are testament to the care and dedication of the craftsmen and women who produce them. This video inspired us with Surya’s pride in workmanship, dedication to design and commitment to the future of our world and environment; we hope it will do the same for you. Here are “The Hands and Hearts of Surya.”


Patterns and textures draw the eyes home

CDD Room

What draws a person into a room? Is it the light or colors? The ambiance? Is it the furniture and decor? Often it’s a mixture of all of these and so many more intimate details. Two aspects of design that, without fail, either make or break a room are pattern and texture.

Without definitive pattern, nothing leads the eyes or directs attention. And, often, without texture, style falls flat or lacks a welcoming quality each room deserves. Pattern and texture come from obvious items, such as fabrics; but they can be found in a number of other ways as well. Layering fabrics adds a texture dimension. Such depth can be achieved through valances and sheer overlays. Bonus features like rugs, pillows and properly-placed throws do this as well; and each of these items can promote patterns that lead the eyes in and invite them stay.

Kasler trim

Trimmings—our focus in last month’s blog—add character and charm as well as dimension and texture. The Suzanne Kasler Collection II offers the perfect example of texture in trim with designs that stand out. Suzanne’s inspiration comes from traveling around the globe; and hints of damask, suzani and other classic styles promote a worldly flair guaranteed to infuse culture into any room. Keep that in mind for next month’s blog as we focus our design attention on other cultures, climates and characteristics.

Jute-Finials crop

Another great trim option comes from Ellen S. Holt, Inc. We recently snapped a picture of some of her wide custom trims at her fabulous showroom in Dallas. These trimmings are statement pieces by themselves, but paired with the right fabrics? Talk about a dynamic design! Another great option to showcase both texture and pattern using a smaller medium also comes from Ms. Holt—Jute Finials. These unique finials are fashioned using four single strands of jute, a coarse thread produced from the fibers of a tropical plant. The cords are then precisely wrapped around wooden finials. Jute finials are some of those simple, elegant details that take a design aspect from useful to unique.


A splash of texture can go a long way in adding an extra realm to a completed room. One of our favorite projects at Custom Drapery Designs is this dining chair reupholstery which utilized Robert Allen fabrics as well as some added velvet softness in strategic places for the perfect couture detailed finish.

Matte fabrics serve to calm a space while more shiny materials reflect light and create a more stimulating environment. Silkier materials can also highlight certain colors and patterns. Often, fabrics such as Stroheim’s Palace Silks, bring shine and texture to the table…or windows…or furniture.

Moulin patterns

While texture lures in the hands for a feel of the beauty in design, it’s pattern that grabs the eyes’ attention in the first place. Vertical lines magically create more height in a room and horizontal lines seem to push the walls apart. But, that’s not all they do! A well-placed pillow with vertical lines—like the one in our first picture—immediately draws your eyes up and beyond the couch to the magnificent draperies behind it. Horizontal lines, chevrons or waves (as seen in the Duralee Moulin Wovens Collection swatch above) broaden a room while simultaneously bringing the entire design together. Honeycomb patterns help the eye zero in on a central feature.


Hunter Douglas window coverings make great central features for any room and often add texture and pattern. With their light-filtering shades, Hunter Douglas knows how to welcome in just the right amount of light in just the right way. As a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer, CDD is proud to offer their products to our clients. Hunter Douglas is committed not only to offering top-quality products, but also to rewarding customers with rebates throughout the year. Spring is a great time to update window shades or panels with the Celebration of Light Savings Event. Call CDD today to get more information!


Trimming takes top spot in designs


It’s a simple word, not fancy or showy.


Without trimming, drapery is just lovely. Without trimming, pillows are just objects to lean upon. Without trimming, bedding and accent furniture are just added niceties.

Trimming takes a design from delightful to dynamic, from tasteful to tremendous. The design industry teems with a multitude of trimming choices; and outstanding companies like Samuel & Sons, Vervain and Duralee frequently bring us new options to choose from for our projects.

At the International Window Coverings Expo in January, Brimar—another of our favorite companies—set trimmings as the must-have standard in design this year. On their website, Brimar explains, “Decorative trimmings are the creative nuances which achieve remarkable aesthetic effects in rooms of varying styles.” It’s those “creative nuances” that Custom Drapery Designs seeks to highlight in each and every installation, like this one pictured with the warm wooden fringing. We feel exquisite couture details and added dimensions—like those brought by trimmings—combine with great quality fabrics to produce an end result worth showcasing.


Samuel & Sons launched its Seychelles Collection of trim this spring. These trimmings are as inspiring as their namesake—the group of islands in the Indian Ocean that dot the azure and turquoise waters like so many bright and warm emeralds. This trim comes in 17 colors, including sea salt, caribe, aquamarine, bark, sand and beach rose. Not only are the colors in this collection inspired by the sea and the islands in them, but also the motion of the waves flows throughout the chevron patterns and the sleekness of the natural landscaping reflects itself in the wooden teardrop and bead fringes. We see many uses for these elegant trimmings!


Vervain’s new Barry Dixon Collection introduces trim options for designs with its multi-dimensional patterns and intricate details. With names like Cortina Platinum, Celtic Knot Metallic Gold, Tympani Walnut and Etruscan Drop Blonde, designs are guaranteed an international and historical feel that fits right in with today’s homes. These trimmings are statement pieces that can elevate well-paired fabrics to a new dimension. Barry Dixon’s interior designs are coveted around the globe, and now his products can be part of your home’s decor!


Duralee, an old friend of Custom Drapery Designs, continues its production of excellence with the Duralee Trim Volume VIII. This collection showcases the classic styles of tassels, beaded fringes, cords and pom poms in an elegant and graceful way. Tassels boast extra details like beaded fringe and precisely-placed braided trim and ribbons that bring the colors and styles all together into the most perfect little package. We see these trims as the perfect complement to our custom draperies, pillows and bedding.

Trimmings, draperies and hardware make up the aspects that enhance a window’s presence. But, another very important window dressing is shading. Whether you prefer blinds, Roman shades, roller shades or any other style, Hunter Douglas is our go-to company. As a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer, CDD is proud to offer their products to our clients. And, now through April 25, you can save on Silhouette® window shadings through their rebate program. These great shades allow more light in while diffusing the sun’s rays. Contact us today to give your windows a complete facelift in time for the spring sunshine!


Custom Drapery Designs knows we’re only as good as the companies we partner with to produce our client-specific designs. This is why we passionately promote the materials we use. We stand behind our work just like the companies we work with stand behind their materials. Each day as we work with clients from initial phone consultations to face-to-face meetings in our new studio with product samples and sketches to the final day of installation we maintain a sense of joy and satisfaction in every minute detail. We know it’s the little things that stand out and make the lasting impressions in your homes. We truly love what we do and look forward to sharing our passion for exquisite couture details with you!


Creativity colors the new year

We would like to introduce you to a creative giant in our eyes—Hunt Slonem. Mr. Slonem is an American painter, sculptor and print-maker. His neo-expressionist styles have been adopted by Groundworks, Lee Jofa’s contemporary line of fabrics.

Slonem’s passion pops in his patterns with their larger-than-life depictions of the nature and history and places—Hawaii, Nicaragua, New York, Louisiana—that have made him the artist he is today. The repetition in his patterns reveals the deeper, spiritual level on which he paints. Whimsy meets wisdom in patterns that reveal fairy tales all grown up. His art explodes with color and features textures so bold, the discerning admirer can “feel” it with his eyes.


This collection of fabrics is not only inspired by Hunt Slonem; it embodies him—encapsulating who he is and what he values in life. He paints on a level more obviously personal than many artists. With two plantation homes in the bayou country of Louisiana, Slonem has a knack for interior design. As he said in a 2010 television interview with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, “I like to breathe vibrancy into these houses.” And, now, his vibrant visions can dance into your home through fabrics, wallpapers and carpeting.

It’s creativity like Mr. Slonem’s that excites us at Custom Drapery Designs, and we look forward to featuring his art in our future designs. Many of our clients desire designs which speak to them on a deeper level and convey unique, bold messages. This fabric line provides the perfect addition for those projects.


Rich, sensual, warm design choices should be top of the resolution list for 2015, thanks to Pantone’s magnificent color of the year: Marsala. As rich as the wine by the same name and as comfortable as the house you call home, this shade is a win with us!


We want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to all our fantastic clients for making us the Best of Houzz for Customer Service for the third year in a row! This is such a great honor for us, and we look forward to continuing to provide the service you deserve and expect in the coming year! With fantastic new fabrics like those inspired by Hunt Slonem’s art and marvelous feature colors like Marsala, we see many colorful, inspired projects in our future.


Design makes the most of motion

Interior design and technology often go hand in hand to produce spectacular fluid results. Hunter Douglas’ Alustra® Vignette® Modern Roman Shades present a perfect example of this compatibility. As one of our favorite products, these timeless window coverings offer not only protection and privacy, but also fashion and the ability to simplify life. You have the power to control these beautifully textured shades with the touch of a screen thanks to Hunter Douglas’ PowerRise® with Platinum™ Technology and their Platinum App.


Custom Drapery Designs loves installing Hunter Douglas products because we know they deliver high quality every time, which is why we are a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer. We are proud to work with Hunter Douglas certified installers for our clients’ projects. We wire the motorized shades in order to eliminate the hassle of changing batteries on a regular basis and do so in a hidden way that will not detract from the finished design. Combine this convenience with the Platinum App and our award-winning drapery designs and our clients will be completely satisfied with their new looks! Contact us today and visit our new Hunter Douglas website to take advantage of the Season of Style Event with its big rebates, which runs now through December 16.

Our goal is to offer our clients the highest quality products available for interior design. This is why we partner with companies such as Hunter Douglas for shadings and Stroheim and Fabricut for fabrics. Stroheim’s Color Gallery expands this season with the Malachite palette. Born from the earth and inspired by nature and the runway, the Malachite gallery showcases the variety found in the blue-cast green shades of the mineral by the same name. These fabrics aren’t just solid, stagnant colors; like malachite, they present a moving, breathing backdrop that ebbs and flows and breathes life into the rooms they touch.

The vibrant greens of malachite have cast their glow upon royal halls and humble dwellings for thousands of years in the form of objects such as vases. The colors are striking enough to have been utilized in paint as well. Now, you can bring these hues into your own home in the form of upholstery, drapery, pillows and other accents. We look forward to using the malachite inspiration in upcoming designs. Malachite and bronze are a match made in nature, and we anticipate topping off this fabric with some exquisite couture details. When we pair striking fabrics, such as those in the Malachite palette, with warm finishes, such as bronze upholstery nail heads, we produce a design masterpiece our clients will continue to enjoy for years to come.

Animal print is all grown up and catches our design eye for sure! Light-colored animal print also introduces brilliant movement into design. Texture and soft hues in this chenille brocade animal print fabric from Clarke & Clarke add another dimension to a room.

Another collection we like for animal print comes from Candice Olson, interior designer and HGTV host of “Divine Design” and “Candice Tells All.” She partnered with Surya to produce her stunning rugs with contemporary timelessness. Her zebra print rugs forget the harsh contrasts of black and white and set style in motion.


Embellishments enhance design

Recently, InStyle Magazine posted this question: “What’s your favorite take on the texture trend?” Embellishments took the top spot with 63% of responding readers making that their choice.

Custom Drapery Designs LOVES embellishments. In each project we take on, we look for the little things—the details—to make each design unique and an embodiment of our clients’ personal styles. These exquisite couture details take our drapery, bedding and upholstery to a higher level. These “little things” are what set us apart and make our clients more than simply satisfied.

We look for the colors, the inspirations and the passions in our clients’ homes and offices and incorporate these aspects into more than just our fabric choices. From multi-colored tassels on a valance that plays off the colors in a nearby abstract expressionist painting to Swarovski crystals added to tie in with an existing master bedroom chandelier, Custom Drapery Designs seeks to major on the minors and make the details shine in every design—both indoors and outdoors.

Here are a few samples of some of our favorite embellishments:

This valance personifies understated elegance with its sheer overlay, tiered hem and decorative braid gimp trim detail.
This valance personifies understated elegance with its sheer overlay, tiered hem and decorative braid gimp trim detail.

We spiced up this relaxed Roman shade by featuring a classic silk onion tassel fringe paired with Brazilian Glow crystal nailheads on the fabric splice.


Warm up your outdoor living

“March winds and April showers bring May flowers” and barbecues, picnics and outdoor movie nights. You bring your life outdoors during the spring and summer, so why not bring your style with you? Custom Drapery Designs loves the outdoors both for inspiration and as an extension of indoor designs and lifestyles. We look forward to sharing with you new and exciting ways to transform your backyard, porch or patio into the most comfortable and stylish space we can envision together.

Perhaps you already have great furniture outside, but the fabric colors or patterns have lost their pizazz. Let us introduce you to three Kravet fabric collections that can revitalize your backyard: the Oceania Cruises for Kravet Collection and the Kravet Soleil Echo Design and Windsor Smith Home Collections.

Set sail with the calming tones and soothing patterns of fabrics designed specifically for the Oceania Cruise Lines and available for you through Custom Drapery Designs. The blend of teal blue, sea green and sand beige will rock you on gentle waves as you relax and embrace friends and family in your backyard oasis. Patterns vary as greatly as waves at sea with ikats, stripes, solids and a variety of others. As an added bonus, this fabric cleans easily so you can keep your new décor as bright and aesthetically pleasing as the day we install it.

Kravet Soleil offers two similar yet distinct styles for the connoisseur of outdoor designs. With the Echo Design and Windsor Smith collections, you will embrace the colors of the four elements: earth, water, air and fire. Their galleries include bold browns, soft shades of seafoam greens, calming beiges and vibrant oranges. Echo entered the fashion scene in 1923 as a scarf company and grew to “a global design company.” Windsor Smith labels her work with her name as a promise of its enduring beauty. As the Kravet brochure explains, she “has emerged from collector to one of the leading talents in the interior design industry.”

Since all these textiles are made for durability in weather and light, you know your designs will last through many sparkling seasons and entertaining events.

So…you have your stylish sanctuary ready for the fresh air season ahead. But, you’ve got one more problem—the sun has a tendency to be overbearing at times. How can you beat the heat and enjoy more daylight in the comfort of your outdoor living space? We have the answer for you: Insolroll Oasis® exterior roller shade systems.

These state-of-the-art and stylish shades provide relief at the touch of a button for your balcony, deck or patio. They are practical—providing protection from glare, heat, UV rays and insects, as well as lowering cooling costs indoors. And, they are a fashionable accessory that can accentuate any design you have in your outdoor living areas with a variety of colors, textures and beautiful hardware options. Custom Drapery Designs would love to make your outdoor experience better all day long!


Natural elements produce passionate designs

Santa Fe, New Mexico, entices visitors with its offer of a “colorful journey;” and, as we discovered, it most certainly delivers! On a recent trip there to befriend a few textile artists and garner new inspirations, Brenda Baxter discovered more than color and beauty; she shook hands with two people as passionate about art, design, texture and quality as she is. Barbara Marigold and Connie Enzmann-Forneris embrace the Southwestern landscape in their woven textiles and wool rugs for others to enjoy.

Barbara owns Marigold Arts, a gallery established in 2002, which showcases these ladies’ handwoven textiles as well as other items hand-crafted by New Mexican artists. Brenda found herself in awe of the time and attention which Barbara pours into creating her own fabrics. (She also found herself wrapped in the soft warmth of a Mohair shawl!)

Barbara explained her process of transforming natural brushed Mohair yarn—brought to us by Angora goats—into an absolute work of art. She works with natural dyes, such as marigolds, walnut husks and other plant products, to develop colors as rich as the Santa Fe scenery. Her blends of colors are very carefully chosen; and, as she weaves, Barbara is careful to maintain perfect spacing and to brush the yarn and rinse it in fabric softener to produce an incredibly soft Mohair blend. She ties her work off with a dramatic fringe finish as seen in the photo of Brenda’s lovely shawl.

Connie — a professional colorist, rug weaver, artist and teacher — embodies a passion for art, design and nature through her production of custom wool area rugs. She colors every single thread of lustrous natural wool fibers from New Zealand with brilliant vegetable dyes. Her handwoven patterns include gorgeous Ikats along with many others. Custom Drapery Designs looks forward to partnering with Connie in the future. She will be using fabric samples from our working designs in order to customize wool rugs to complete our rooms.

We love Ikats!

And, Vervain fabrics blends luxurious quality standards with traditional concepts and a modern flair to produce unique and decidedly memorable patterns that we adore. We look forward to centering future designs around some of their La Goulet Ikats with their coarse cotton textures and bold statement colors.

Each piece that has inspired our musings in this blog finds its origin in the earth around us—from the rich tones to the varied textures to the natural products from which they are fashioned. It is only fitting that we tip our hats to the magnificent Earth Elements drapery hardware by Wesley Mancini for J.F. Fabrics.

This line includes hand-threaded finials which are accented by a layer of netting, increasing the feeling of warmth and connection to nature these statement pieces bring into a room. Each hand-crafted item in the collection proudly bears imperfections that create a purposeful distressed finish and perpetuate the beauty of an artisan’s masterpiece. These natural finials promise to be the crown to many palatial designs.

We love to use natural design elements like these because they brighten and warm any space. Let us help you bring a little bit of outside inspiration into your home today!

STROHEIM FB feature2

Stunning reveals remain focus

Custom Drapery Designs combines the highest quality products available in the design industry with the most detail-oriented work ethic and our desire to give clients a final design project they will be proud of and thrilled to display. We offer more than high-end couture draperies; we coordinate shades, shutters, draperies, valances, bedding and upholstery for our clients to provide a complete package of interior design needs.

Fabricut, one of our favorite leaders in the fabric industry, added the Stroheim brand in 2010. Stroheim’s classic high-quality products work for both traditional and modern tastes and provide perfect matches for Custom Drapery Designs’ discerning clients. The 148-year-old Stroheim name brings the prestige of being “one of the oldest and most respected fabric houses in the decorating world” along with its high-end textiles, trimmings and wallpaper to Fabricut’s already broad range of home furnishings.

Technology from Hunter Douglas continues to make our jobs easier and design innovations more user-friendly for our patrons. With the Platinum™ App from Hunter Douglas, the control of all the window coverings in your home rests in the palm of your hands. Set the appropriate lighting for different times of day as well as for different activities, such as movie time. Use your Apple device to adjust the amount of light your motorized shades allow into each room of your home. Custom Drapery Designs just received a new Platinum™ App display; so now we can demonstrate with our iPad during our in-home consultations. Click on the app photo above to view a video about all the great features and ask us today about how to incorporate these outstanding window coverings into your new design.

From first contact with a new or returning client, we consider both the big picture and the little details that make that project unique and characteristic of the person’s style. We lead with a phone consultation which gives us the project’s budget, style and design needs. From there, we draw up a plan and choose fabric samples that match the color, style and architecture to bring to our in-home consultation. We return with final samples, sketches and photos to cement our design plans for the space before returning once more for professional measurements. We monitor every aspect of the design implementation from start to processing each detail in the workroom to installation. As Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer for Custom Drapery Designs, says, “Our goal is to produce an end product that you are absolutely in love with!” Call us today to realize your interior design dreams.


Finishing touches add finesse

While the perfect fabric defines the style and flow of a room, it’s the hardware that puts the exclamation point on a design’s statement. No design project is complete without high-end finishes—those little details that make a big difference; and Custom Drapery Designs selects only the finest for our clients.

Finials are a very small piece of a room’s design, but Robert Allen has found a way to produce true magnificence in the tiny packaging of those in the Casual Elegance Collection. Each of the seven finials boasts intricate details and beauty in simplicity, and four finishes provide a variety to match any room. With the elegance of this collection comes the outstanding strength of the company’s high-quality tracks, making them strong enough to hold even the heaviest draperies.

Since at least 4,000 BC people have admired silver for its beauty, value and usefulness. This beauty is what makes J.L. Anthony’s Silver Surfaces Collection the crowning addition to any elegantly-designed room. With six finishes ranging from cool to warm hues, your style will find its match in this collection of poles, finials, brackets, rings and tiebacks. And, your finished product will be uniquely yours since the metal leaf is applied by hand and completed with a glazing or antiquing process to seal in that one-of-a-kind look with amazing textures.

We had the opportunity last month to attend the International Window Coverings Expo in New Orleans, La., and to witness the award of the 2013 WCMA Product Awards Best New Style Concept to the dynamo team of Jackie Von Tobel and Helser Brothers. This is an outstanding award for a simply amazing woman and her commanding new product line; and we are thankful we got to celebrate with her. The Jackie Von Tobel Signature line for Helser Brothers has rocked the market with unbelievable versatility and unsurpassed selections.

Deb Barrett (front) &
Jackie VonTobel (back)

We’re excited about this collection and look forward to including it in upcoming designs for traditional—and maybe even some nontraditional—purposes. Each piece of Von Tobel’s hardware designs is a work of art and appears in 17 new finishes that will make jaws drop.


Bring on the sun and color!!

Warm beams of sun pierce the thick layers of winter cold and find uplifted arms welcoming its warmth and light. Spring peeks around the corner and teases with a splash of color here, a new hue there. As creation awakens after its winter of slumber, you may find it’s time to renew your home as well.

We have some outstanding options to add warmth with the latest colors and styles to your home. If you long for the fashion, flair and flow of LA and Palm Springs, look no further than Trina Turk’s Indoor/Outdoor Collection for Schumacher. Turk, a lauded fashion designer, has found a new following within the interior design world. Her inspirations—California’s diverse architecture and landscapes—pop with the bursts of color and exploding patterns in this collection. You will bring the colors of the ocean, sand, sun and latest designer trends to your home, no matter how far from the Pacific you may be.

With prints you’ll want to use anywhere, Trina Turk’s collection is durable enough to withstand the elements. “Sunbrella® branded solution dyed outdoor acrylic yarns” create woven fabrics that are soft to the touch and feature twill and canvas weaves. Between the vibrant colors and the subtle textures, you and your guests will not be able to keep your eyes or hands off your new décor.

Brimar’s versatile collection of trimmings offers a simple, yet stunning solution to brighten up any look. Take the sophistication and style of the indoors out and the durability and beauty of the outdoors in with their flexible indoor/outdoor trim. Embellish your design on patios, porches or verandas; around pools; in cabanas, bathrooms, conservatories, sunrooms or solariums.

Color is king with the Spring 2013 Pigment Collection from Robert Allen Design Group. This vivacious collection combines “edgy” with “classic” and launches on the 30th anniversary of the Group’s Color Library collections. It includes four tones that blend in perfect design harmony—Viridian (green), Cobalt (blue), Fuchsia (pink) and Turquoise (greenish-blue).

“Color in its purest form can be found in the pigment used for centuries in the creation of artists’ paint. We were particularly drawn to the vivid green and brilliant blue in the paintings of modern artists and designed a palette of bright colors to complement them,” the Robert Allen Design Group shares on their website.

This fashion-forward collection pays homage to classical art and promises to provide the perfect palette for any design challenge. And, with so many classic colors, this collection provides a perfect avenue to incorporate the rise of spring in your home.


Clients inspire passion for couture

Happy 2013!! With the new year comes a new look for our website, a reflection on some of our inspiration and a renewed commitment to the excellence Custom Drapery Designs, LLC has always exhibited. Visit our updated site and take a moment to browse our galleries and watch a few videos highlighting many of our products.  Let us know what you think; we always love to hear from our friends!

For me, design is far more than an occupation; it is a passion. I have always been fascinated with the art of fashion—constantly sketching on receipts, napkins and other scraps of paper during lunches, church services and road trips. So, it only seems natural that, as an adult, I have discovered the world of drapery design as an outlet for my passion for the art of couture fashion. In the words of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, “In fashion we’ve reached complete freedom of expression. There is a spirit of total liberation and freedom.”

In October, I found myself surrounded by history and beauty as well as fashion and inspiration in London. I also found new ways to express my passion for couture while studying and exploring “The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957,” an exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

So, what is couture? It is a creative expression through the medium of fabric which combines the skilled construction techniques of a high level of quality and workmanship, exacting standards, a delicacy in composition, a level of technical complexity requiring skillful handling and classical antiquity brought together using fabrics from only the top manufacturers. In short, “Couture is the marriage of design and material.” Christian Dior, the great fashion designer of the 1940s and 1950s, knew what he was talking about and used his knowledge of and passion for couture to expand local fashion into a global phenomenon, spreading his name worldwide and opening the door for many more designers.

Dior and other designers—Laurent, Jean Desses, John Cavanagh and Sir Cecil Beaton—during the “golden age” of fashion history (1947-1957) defined couture with exceptional sense of color, mastery of feminine tailoring, simplicity of line, fragility of work, mastery of manipulating fabrics and fascination with cut and construction. A few examples of their ground-breaking techniques include selecting texture in fabrics such as chiffon, embroidering on delicate silks and utilizing precise and intricate pleating to create luscious volume and graceful movement.

“The true representatives of fashion are often those whose surprising originality leads them to a very private outward expression of themselves.” I love this quote from Sir Beaton! In every project, Custom Drapery Designs places great focus on our clients’ individualism through window treatment design made from quality textiles. We highlight each delicate detail with unwavering attention to a couture quality of workmanship. Our inspirations range from larger-than-life, billowing historic costumes to the runway’s current fashion of soft gathered swags which seem to envelope the model in a breath. And, I can often be found perusing couture fashion boards on Pinterest or Au fil des passions, a favorite Facebook page.

Art, design and fashion are my passions. I search through the lens of these passions to draw from all aspects of life the inspirations that wed my clients’ individuality to produce the designs I create in their homes and offices. I love interior design because, through it, I transform my clients’ homes and offices “to a very private outward expression of themselves.”

One of the intricate details that sets our projects apart and allows for further distinctiveness is variety in the poles, finials, tie backs, swag holders, tab holders, cornices, brackets and rings we choose. Three new favorites are Deco & Deco Premium Hardware; the Jackie Von Tobel for Helser Brothers, Inc. drapery hardware collection; and Fabricut Modern Surfaces drapery hardware collection.

Deco & Deco™ by Krish Deco LTD manifests elegance and class in this sleek, sophisticated collection of drapery hardware. The beauty of this hardware shines through its finishes with Murano glass hand-made in Italy, brushed nickel, bronze, solid brass and antiques; and the versatility lies in both traditional and contemporary models.

Jackie Von Tobel and Helser Brothers prove to be a great team with a hardware collection that breaks the rules and allows for even more customization. Von Tobel said, “When I first began talking with the fabulous Helser Brothers about a collaboration, it became clear to me that this was a fantastic opportunity to create a fresh new line that would address the versatility required for today’s window treatment designs. It was a chance to think out of the box and design hardware that would be able to be used in many different configurations rather than having each piece be pigeon holed for one use.”

In this collection, finials find homes as tie backs or swag holders; and tab holders fill in as rod brackets or join together as cornices. Pieces called “tassels” can be ordered and used individually within treatment designs as trim or attached to rings to enhance the design. We adore the tear drop accent piece above and look forward to incorporating that in upcoming designs! This collection can find a home among both modern and traditional décors with metallic or hand-painted finishes.

Fabricut’s Modern Surfaces Collection expands upon its Modern Fusion Collection, adding two new metal finishes as well as uniquely innovative finial designs and promising to be “the ultimate in modern décor.”

By using industry leaders such as these three companies to tie together each project with new and exciting facets, Custom Drapery Designs strives to be your choice for “exquisite couture details” in 2013 and many years to come.

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Design goes natural

Summer’s sun, shorelines and sand spawn a desire to get back to the basics, to wrap oneself in nature and brace for colder weather. Custom Drapery Designs embraces this inspiration and brings nature indoors with three new natural fabric and natural color collections: Schumacher Sheers Radiance, Robert Allen’s Naturals and Kravet’s Echo Design. Your home has never felt this warm and inviting!

For the less-is-more aficionado, sheer might be the best option to let the light shine in your world. F. Schumacher & Co., a fifth generation, family-owned company, offers you the new Radiance collection of sheers. With 60 style and color options, your look awaits you whether you prefer the more traditional lace or modern weave textures. In addition to natural colors such as oyster, ivory and ecru, natural fibers of cotton, linen and wool provide an added dimension of texture. Please your eyes as well as your touch with ethereal eyelet, extraordinary embroidery and expertly-clipped madras gauze. This collection ensconces nature in luxury and introduces it to your home.

If texture and layers strike your fancy, try on Robert Allen’s new Naturals collection for size. Surround yourself in comfort, with attitude. Inspiration for colors like pearl, mineral, saddle and toast arise from such natural locations as the sand on a pristine beach, the warmth of freshly turned earth and the unexpected meadow afire with the glow of a million wildflowers. With more than 300 upholstery or multi-purpose options, the Naturals collection has just what you’ve been yearning for in your home.

Christy Almond, vice president of design for Robert Allen, reflected, “Naturals is less of a collection and more of a lifestyle. We want everyone to feel like they can layer and combine the different patterns in a uniquely personal way. It’s all about making it your own.”

Picture the Mediterranean with its rugged cliffs, bright blue waters and olive green landscape. Now, bring this image home with Kravet’s Echo Design’s newest collection of linen prints and woven fabrics—Mediterraneo. Providing a sophisticated range of “sun-bleached” colors, this collection captures the casual elegance and warm spirit of a Mediterranean afternoon. The essential elements of an Echo Design collection—color, print, pattern and texture—unite magnificently in this latest collection of outdoor fabrics for Kravet. Bring outside in and bask in the glow of Mediterraneo.


Manipulating fabric and focusing on details


Next time you’re browsing through fabric, look past the silk, satin and cotton and visualize something different, something uniquely YOU! One of our favorite fellow drapery designers and personal friend with The Wendel Works in Houston, Texas, inspired just that in the stunning gold drapery you see in the right-hand corner of the collage above. She cross-stitched and pleat tucked the rich fabric to create her own fabric, adding mini pearls for that little something extra. This drapery heading is an excellent example of the art of manipulating fabrics to create a brand new style. She took something beautiful in itself and turned it into an extraordinary window adornment with all the elegance of a royal wedding while maintaining the comfort of home.

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Successful manipulation of fabric can be achieved by a multitude of design tricks. You could make a bold block statement by horizontally splicing together yards of color silk fabrics or create multiple layers of horizontal folds.  Design or stencil a custom or Celtic band on your drapery’s hem for another unique option.


Or, take a tip from the runway: laser cutting. This technique, known well to anyone in metal work, burns away the material leaving a surprisingly high-quality finished edge and a plethora of designs. The endless expanse of your imagination is the only limit when it comes to manipulating fabric!

In design, details don’t just matter; often they make the project. For this reason Custom Drapery Designs, LLC strives to seek out the best and most current trends in design “bling!” Kravet’s new Modern Metal and Crystals hardware collection will add a little pop to the top of your drapery and includes five finial shapes and four finishes: polished nickel, satin nickel, mercury and satin gold. Diamondhead upholstery tack offers a new and exciting way to incorporate some summer sparkle to just about any surface in your home. These aren’t just any nails—they shimmer with genuine Bohemian crystals from the Czech Republic and luster art glass cabochon stones. And, they can be applied to many projects including mirror or art frames, room dividers, walls, cabinets, tables, cornice boxes and—as seen in the collage above—headboards and footboards.


We look forward to marrying that last use with our new product—bedding! We are excited to offer more options for your home within the windows as we team up with Eastern Accents. They create both traditional and contemporary bedding in addition to Italian fine linens, many styles of pillows and holiday décor. This company gives a great American dream story as they have grown since 1989 from the vision of a husband-and-wife team with one designer and two sewers to a booming 300+ employee business in the heart of Chicago. The Portia Collection, their new 2012 spring look included in our collage, is one example of the details Eastern Accents engages from bedding to pillows to throws to drapery and so much more. Wrap yourself up and snuggle down in new design all around your bedroom this season!


And last, but certainly not least, showcase watercolor art in your designs with Bluebellgray, a Scottish textile design company. As their website shows, Bluebellgray is “influenced by a love of colour and all things floral; the designs are something unique and special, each design is painted by hand in the Bluebellgray studio before being printed onto natural cottons and linens using state of the art printing technology. The printing methods used by Bluebellgray enable every brushstroke and colour to be captured enhancing the feel of the hand painted design.” To design an art lover’s oasis, check out Bluebellgray’s inspirational line.


Patchwork promotes perfection


Fashion and interior design have long inspired one another; and this season is no exception. Prepare to be pleased with patchwork!! This bold, show-stopping style runs the runway; and it’s ready to add a pop to your home décor. Custom Drapery Designs looks forward to incorporating some of this style in our upcoming work. Stay tuned for a new custom patchwork design!


Your home is your sanctuary…a place to relax, unwind, breathe. Your drapery should set your personal stage for serenity. Kravet Couture introduces their new Modern Novelties Collection–metallic threads, intricate embroideries, open cut out designs and delicate sheers make up this selection of simply gorgeous draperies. The natural earth tones provide a simple elegance which enhances the beauty of the room around them while providing a fitting frame for the view beyond them. The metallics and cut outs mirror current fashion trends as well. The intricate details in these simple fabrics provide a light and airy feel while promoting peace within your walls.

Paris Rods

Paris Texas Hardware understands the old saying, “Time is money.” We are so impressed with their quick ship option on orders within the Somerset, Villiers and Dominion collections. Within 48 hours of placing a phone order with them, we received our hardware; and there was no extra cost for the faster delivery. PTH was a pleasure to work with, and their customer service was stellar. Plus, their finials, holdbacks and other accessories are unique and show-stopping. They even offer custom rod lengths cut to within an eighth of an inch of your specifications for no additional charge. We are huge fans of Paris Texas Hardware!

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Practicality, Versatility, Safety and Function marry in the new Vignette Modern Roman Shades by Hunter Douglas. Choose from traditional or tailored shades which roll up and disappear; tiered shades which are most similar to classic Roman shades and fold perfectly every time; and traversed shades which slide side to side to offer a solution for sliding glass doors. You can choose your ideal style through a variety of colors and textures as well. These shades are a great match for the family with small children or pets since they have no exposed cords. And, they are installed quickly and provide your home with easy-to-maintain elegance. See for yourself!

Bring the delicate beauty of Ikat silk outdoors with Beacon Hill’s Outdoor Ikat fabric collection. Woven with Sunbrella yarns, they are durable and easily cleaned with a surprising softness that might just make it your favorite part of outside! “Outdoor Ikats is a collection where each and every pattern is an interpretation of an original silk ikat from Uzbekistan. Ikats are distinctive design motifs, and this collection celebrates their unique contours in outdoor constructions,” said Alexis Audette, operating vice president of design for Beacon Hill. You may use them outside or prefer to keep the gentle feel inside; but, wherever you display them, your Outdoor Ikats are sure to become a delightful conversation piece!


We will be in the Windy City this week, soaking up the latest in window fashions, trends, styles and continuing education at VISION 12, International Window Coverings Expo; and you can join us through Pinterest! We will be updating our “Vision Spotter” board with the hottest and most exciting new products and trends as we see them. Follow us on Pinterest to receive all the updates and follow all the Vision Spotters!


Global inspiration brings the world to your home

Salām from Dubai!!

We recently returned to Texas from an incredible and inspirational visit to Dubai. The culture, the people and the sites warmed us; and the local textiles and spices fueled our passion for creativity and innovations in our designs. The Dubai integration of muted and bold colors within a varied collection of patterns stirred us and remained at the forefront of our design plans for the future as we returned home to similar fine details mimicked in this season’s fabrics.

By framing your windows with these fabrics, you, too, will experience the warm breeze and breathe in the warm and spicy fragrances of the Dubai spice souk…cinnamon, coriander, saffron, cloves and frankincense.

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Southern Belle turned Big Apple Sensation Charlotte Moss has been known to bend a few rules and incorporate many cultures into designs that epitomize American style. Her new collections with Fabricut include materials boasting subtle patterns, bold patterns, bright colors and muted colors as diverse and impressive as the inspirational female explorers and travelers for whom they are named. And, her collection of trim adds a pop of culture with the look and the names of big cities from Moss’ travels around the globe.

Life and all its experiences inspire Moss. She was quoted in a recent Elle Decor article:

“We designers act as filters, sopping up what we see, where we go and who we meet. Everything funnels through and ends up somewhere, sometime, in what we do and create.”


While her philosophy–”live passionately, decorate luxuriously and entertain beautifully”–is as big and bold as her designs; her focus remains steadfast: “Fine-tune your point of view. It’s what defines style.”

Her energy, passion and focus are characteristics Custom Drapery Designs, LLC. seeks to emulate in our own creations. The sketch here provides an example of our pairing of a Kravet fabric with a Charlotte Moss delicate glass bead trim. This combination stuns with gathered puckers and graduating height and reminds us of the warm light of a lamp reflecting on a tent during one memorable dinner in Dubai.

Another exciting fabric line we have added is Trend, a division of Fabricut, with outstanding quality and style at an affordable price. Their Jaclyn Smith Home Collection can give your drapes an unforgettable look that is sure to have your guests’ attentions!

Helser Brothers new forged finial

We believe in the importance of every detail of drapery design, which is why we are excited about the Helser Brothers Artisan forged iron drapery hardware. The pictured prototype is a breath-taking inspiration for some of our upcoming projects.

Brothers-turned-business partners, Jay and Mark Helser founded their company in 1996 on their principles of hard work; commitment to outstanding customer service; and production of well-built, visually stunning hardware.


Bend design around your favorite view

So, you want to maximize the masterpiece of nature’s art as seen through your prized bay or bow windows; but how do you work around those curves?



With seven modern metal hardware collections to choose from, including the popular indoor/outdoor Cabana Collection featured in our last blog and the stylish Signature Metal Collection, Brimar proves “bending is their business.” Fall in love with your perfect collection and match up the rod and finial style that fits your home. Then, let Brimar do the work to make your vision come alive.


To add extra flair, consider Orion’s recently-expanded Tuscany Cornice Designs. With 28 designs–narrow, medium and tall–and 31 iron art finishes or a custom finish of your selection, the possibilities seem endless! Any design can be bent to your window’s specifications, and you can stack most styles to double and even triple. From simple and elegant to big and bold, Orion has a choice that makes your picture window truly picturesque.


Your search for just the right hardware to accent a wall or two of windows or sparkling french doors may end with Orion’s swing arms. No longer just for use over doors to swing drapes open and shut with entry, swing arms crown stationary panels with elegance. Again, your options are innumerable: 8 styles, 31 finishes each and the choices to further customize or curve the arms and add rings…the sky out your windows is, indeed, the limit!


Accentuate your positives with Brimar’s versatile hardware and trim collections. In addition to the Signature Metal Collection featured above with Brimar’s custom bent drapery rods, 19 other collections in a variety of finishes provide choices that fit any style–from the old world “Archive” Collection to a more modern, daring “Ice” and earthy “Botanica” to the other-worldly “Manhattan”. Piece together poles, finials, brackets and rings and add matching tieback rosettes to complete your collection.

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Whether you want to add brightness and light or enhance more muted, soothing tones in your decor, you will find the perfect trim within Brimar’s 23 expansive collections. Select solids, prints or geometric designs on Jacquard tape or choose from a multitude of other trims, including braided tape, gimp, lipcord, tassels, fringe and rosettes.


Fabricut draws inspiration for your fabric choices from the colors of the skies. Bring outside in with your drapery! Play off breathtaking golds, blues and chartreuses in a harvest sunset or the playful posies, purples and peaches of a springtime sunrise. Welcome in the deep greens and browns of the earth and watch them complement the hues of the horizon. Breathe deeply and let the sun kiss your home all year!


Selections for every style

One of the most exciting parts of our job is sharing new fabric and design trends with our clients; another is helping them find just the right fabric and hardware. We think you just might share our enthusiasm once you see some of the latest options for decorating the world around you.

Sometimes it’s the details that add huge flair when it comes to decorating. Brimar’s selection of grommets is more extensive than ever. With round and square metal-finished, decorative and enamel-painted brass options, Brimar has a grommet for you! Nature inspires the colors and textures in Calvin Klein Homes’ new collection of trimmings; and only Kravet has them!


Robert Allen recently released its Modern Library Collection. This eclectic fabric selection alone has enough style options to please almost any taste with designs showcasing both bright and muted colors and patterns ranging from bold and daring to intricate and minute as well as traditional prints with a modern flair. The options include 113 designs between two color schemes: Magenta/Prussian/Sunset and Slate/Twine/Pool. With the diversity in the Modern Library Collection, feminine meets masculine; and they live in perfect harmony!


Another collection offering an impressively wide variety comes to us from Fabricut. Collier Campbell–the sister duo which has been wowing the design world since the early sixties–has released their third and final collaborative collection: Exotic Inspirations. Like the Modern Library compilation, this Collier Campbell selection of diverse fabrics provides an option or two for just about every style. Whether you want warmth, calm, inspiration or elegance, you can find it in the thirteen patterns and their four distinct color themes: cinnamon and stone, duck egg and sand, peacock and emerald and white and bright. With options like these, prepare to let your imagination run wild! All of us in the interior design world grieve with Sarah Campbell on the recent loss of her sister, Susan Collier, and celebrate her life through their Exotic Inspirations collection.

If you’re all about the cheerfulness and playfulness of bright colors, the new Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa Fabric Collection may be just what your home needs. For more than a half century, Lilly Pulitzer’s creativity has brightened homes around the country; and, today, Lee Jofa brings her cheery selection to you. It’s certain to bring a smile to your face and a glow to your home on the bleakest of days!

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Fabric adds fun and flair to any room, but we can’t forget what holds it all up and keeps it in place–HARDWARE! Brimar does not disappoint with its elegant Versailles Drapery Hardware, an updated look made with an ancient art form–water gilding. Artists carefully hand-craft each of these stunning masterpieces by layering gesso, red clay and gold or silver leaf. Precise polishing provides an antique finish to the pieces as well. Four finishes are available: antique gold, silver and bronze gilt as well as hand-painted dark walnut. The meticulous work certainly pays off, making Brimar’s Versailles Collection a must-have! Another Brimar option worth viewing is its dramatic and practical Cabana collection of corrosion-resistant hardware–made to withstand outdoor use by the salty sea, it’s stunning enough to find its way inside. This collection will keep rust at bay while providing a classic look that’s hard to ignore. While you should use it outside or in your bathroom, you’ll find yourself wanting to utilize it throughout your living area.

You may wonder if the right style for your home or office exists–maybe everything you’ve seen before this blog is too dull, too bright; too obvious, too forgettable; too modern, too old-school. Whatever your eyes desire, Custom Drapery Designs, LLC, will help you find just the right decor to match your lifestyle.


Small changes make a big statement

Clients often come to us looking for ways to simply update their decor. They don’t want a total makeover, just something simple to spice things up a bit. One way we recommend achieving this is by personalizing the cornice boards. This simple update can be done in various ways, each with a number of unique styles to make your choice all about you!

Diamond Head upholstery tacks provide one option to add either a design element to cornice boards or an elegant and eye-catching trim.

upholstery tacks trio

Let your personality shine through with your choice of their 12 stones in two collections. Some examples include the mesmerizing Eye of the Tiger, the captivating Turquoise Matrix and the stunning Kaleidoscope Diamond. Turn an ordinary cornice board into an extraordinary piece of art.


If your style is more earthy and homey while still elegant, may we suggest some ornamental iron pieces from Helser Brothers, Inc., or Orion Ornamental Iron, Inc. These works of art are sure to add warmth and an understated beauty and charm to any room. We’re excited about Helser’s Evita line of wrought iron pieces and their Tableaux Custom Motifs’ option that offers the look and feel of real iron for less.

As an added option for personalization, you can create your own iron design; and the artist will make it to your specifications!

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We typically choose a flush mount of the iron art to attach to the face of fabric-wrapped cornice–it makes for fantastic built-in artwork!

Create your fairy tale design with a “mirror, mirror on the wall.” A skilled glass cutter can create for you a beveled edge or etched design on glass that accentuates the dramatic effects of sweeping silk panels. With the uniquely personal addition of glass, you can magnify the light and color in your room while making a striking statement you can live happily ever after with.

Grandmother's brooch

Often loved ones bequeath to us beautiful heirlooms which deserve much better than to be stored away in jewelry boxes or trunks. Dust off your grandmother’s stunning brooch and ready it to add your own personal touch to your draperies. For added flair, place it in an off-set manner, such as attached to the tie-back or leading drapery edge.

HD CountryWood Cornice2

If your style demands a stronger statement and the addition of rich warmth only wood can provide, Hunter Douglas has the wood cornice just for you. With various carved designs and gorgeous stains to choose from, you can find just the right combination to bring it all together in your home. Each cornice, which is assembled and finished by hand out of 100% domestic wood, makes the most appropriate crown for traverse drapery or wide-width stationary panels.

Custom Drapery Designs looks forward to assisting you in finding small ways to express your style in big fashion!

Custom Drapery Designs, LLC

Custom Drapery Designs, LLC, serves Dallas and the surrounding metroplex with all aspects of a custom design project. From in-home consultation to project management to exquisite couture details to a perfect installation, we do it all. 

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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