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.

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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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