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think INSPIRATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 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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Clients inspire passion for couture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Design goes natural

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Selections for every style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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