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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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®.

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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.

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think HANDMADE

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Patterns and textures draw the eyes home

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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. 

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Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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