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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Detailed art defines design

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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!

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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!

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Inspiration beats global rhythm

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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Manipulating fabric and focusing on details

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

© 2022 Custom Drapery Designs, LLC Custom Window Treatments