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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.

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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!”

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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.”

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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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.

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