Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Drapery: Designing Is In The Details

Window treatments, they bring so much interest to a room and they should always be considered when designing a house, yet it seems to be something that is not implemented nearly enough. They can add romance, coziness, warmth, texture, softness, and a splash of color if needed. You simply cannot go wrong by adding some attractive window treatments to your home. Without them it’s like going to the ball in a gown without the jewels adorning/accenting and complimenting the attire.

Here is some inspiration and thoughts to hopefully help motivate.

Window treatments do not need to block a window, instead, they can frame them and enhance a view.curved hooks full window - Copy

Please……don’t be fooled, for they can be very tricky – they need to be designed and created correctly in order for them to blend adding the perfect touch/style to fit your space. There are so many options that are available in designing window treatments in can (and is) a bit overwhelming (that’s where the professionals come in!). The details, shape, fullness, trim, length, fabric, lining, header….the list goes on.
traditional home oct 03 gathered header - Copy image 
     Traditional Home Oct. 03’                                             Tone On Tone Residence Maryland

If privacy or light control is necessary, layer with shutters, blinds, woven or fabric shades.
winwallideas fall 06 Susan Gregory - Copy Window & Wall Fall 06 Susan Gregory

There are limitless options, here are just a few things to consider when designing drapery.

Headers:  these choices go on and on and on…….here are just a few examples that have some pizzazz and uniqueness to them (at least I thought so). 

Box Pleated Studded (Phillip Sides) Balloon Style Valance w/ beaded trim (Simply Creative Sewing 2004)

Pleated Flat Panel   Grommets (www.autumnhillinteriors.com ) Ballet Slipper pleat (Windows & Walls Fall 06' )


Length: This really is personal preference, some of your options are:

Floor length:  

Trouser break:



From concept to completion.  a couple of custom design installed in clients homes.

window treatment sketch

Dining Room drapes2

Dining Room drapes


                          GARCIA pwdr room window cornice 

Powder Room w art_ - Copy

Start dressing!  You will never desire to go back to bare windows again if you make the investment in proper treatments. Most often you will be amazed at the enormous transformation a room will have once they are installed.

Joni at Cote De Texas has a brilliant, informative (as always) Article on Window Dressings.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chandeliers……Brightening Up the Bathroom

In the desire to create the mood for a luxurious and romantic style bathroom, what could add more elegance or glamour than a beautiful chandelier over a sensational soaking tub?

imageThis alluring space gives it a feeling that is both classic and modern. Rozanne Jackson Interiors.

Bathrooms that I have done in the past, where some were remodeled completely and others with just a couple of touches here and there to give a fresh look to the space usually included a chandelier over the tub. If the space allows, adding a chandelier can create a huge impact without a lot of cost …

So imagine my dismay……when my bubbles  image……and by that I don’t mean the relaxing ones that surround you while you are soaking in the tub.  I mean the kind that burst when you hear something you don’t want to, when I met with a contractor recently and he was the first one that ever said to me “that it is a really dumb idea and he “prefers NOT to install them over the tub…..ever”.  Thankfully (insert huge sigh of relief),  the disappointment was short lived, for I spoke with another contractor (who was still not overly thrilled about the idea) said there can be an alternative solution (see Safety tips below) in allowing this to be a safer installation.  He did mention that he does still hesitate about the idea because of the thought of how homeowners can be quite irresponsible.  IE: They might “fill the tub, stand in the water and decide to change the light bulbs”. Who does that?!  Scary! No one would be that clueless……would they?  Luckily not the clients I have had the pleasure working with.

At this point, I have to admit my curiosity is now peaked to know I’m not alone to see if anyone else likes the glamorous look and feel of chandeliers over tubs. So……I decide to check my files/images/Google/magazines/blogs to confirm the answer…. and well, of course they do! Actually, there are many that seem too, especially in southern bathrooms, where they are not uncommon due to having fabulous architecture and high ceilings they are blessed with.   imageAtlanta designer Amy Morris, created a sophisticated sanctuary by adding a 19th-century French mirror and the show-stopping amethyst-embellished French chandelier from Edgar-Reeves.  The chandelier sparkles like fine jewelry.

Many desire their bathrooms to be turned into luxurious rooms where they can recharge, indulge or have a place to escape to. Can you blame others for craving some lavishness in their life by adding an exquisite chandelier to their private retreat?  I certainly can not.

image   image
The very talented Barry Dixon chooses different styles of fixtures in creating refreshing spaces with unique style.   

This opulent chandelier in a room designed by Nate Berkus makes this space feel like the perfect space to escape to.  

MetHome0909pg 96Clean, sleek and sophisticated with elegance all rolled into one. Met Home Sept. 2009 

 Renovation Style Mag pg 62 summer 2009 Renovation Style Magazine Page 62 Summer 2009  The original vintage chandelier was relocated in this house from the foyer to over the vintage claw and foot tub. Pure Perfection.

The right light fixture, whether it be a chandelier or perhaps a pendant, cannot only add to the style of your room, but it can also make all of your other special details in your bathroom truly stand out. 8 master bath stand alone porcelain tub barrel vaulted ceiling lantern fireplace
If you’re thinking about having a chandelier in a bathroom, but don’t want it directly over the tub, consider putting it at one end of the tub, or in front of.  Also, you don’t have to use it in the traditional way, with one large chandelier hanging in the middle of the room you could use two chandeliers over a vanity or one of medium size.

image Designer Elaine Griffin Juxtaposing materials and styles adds interest to this sophisticated space.

Safety First
Attention to aesthetics in the bathroom doesn't diminish the importance of safety. Electricity and water are still lethal companions, and nowhere do they mingle more closely than in the bathroom. Always consult a certified electrician before tackling even the simplest lighting project.
   The National Electric Code requires all new outlets to have GFCIs, (ground-fault circuit interrupters).  Even fixtures that are going to be within a certain distance of the tub or shower (usually extends 3ft  horizontally, and 8ft  vertically from the bathtub top rim and the shower stall threshold, though local codes vary) should be "wet" or "shower-location" rated. 
   Put any of the light fixtures located above the bathtub and / or shower stall on a GFCI protected circuit…
   A circuit breaker GFCI (installed in a panel box to give protection to selected circuits) serves a dual purpose - not only will it shut off electricity in the event of a "ground-fault," but it will also trip when a short circuit or an over-load occurs.

So……we ask ourselves…….
Would you be willing to break the rules (if there are any) to create your enchanting retreat?