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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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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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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.

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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—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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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 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.

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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