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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Draperies

I did a little home decorating project for myself. That seems to be a rare thing for drapery makers, just like the cobbler with shoeless children our windows go bare. In fact, I have been in this apartment for nine months. I know people that have produced beautiful children in that amount of time so I have no excuses.

So below is the blank slate. Two 60" wide windows and with 9 foot ceilings I planned on 95" long draperies that would break to the floor. Yes, drapery panels. Just like the perfect little black dress, panels are always appropriate. I also realize that that this is not a long-term residence and panels are easy to alter and reuse down the road. The blinds had to stay and provide light control and privacy.


First I had to pick out fabric. That was the perfect excuse to visit Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC. This store is fabric heaven and there were many choices within my budget. After many trips around the store with camera in-hand to record each "favorite" I settled on brown floral with a linen-like texture. I liked the colorful print and overall pattern that was not dominated by one bold flower. I also found a deeply discounted polyester, light weight linen-look in a terra cotta color to use as privacy curtains on the bottom half of the window.


So with fabric in hand I set out to make the magic happen. The first thing I did was order the decorative hardware. I knew it would take two weeks for it to be "born". I met with Amy Johnson with Finestra Decorative Hardware www.FinestraDecorativeHardware.com and showed her my fabric. Together we picked out the Beauregard finials, one of my favorites with a smooth pole rod, rings and brackets in the Old World Gold finish. I had the opportunity to see my hardware in production. In the photos below the base coat is being applied, the final, beautiful finish is all applied by hand.




Then it was time for the sewing to begin. This all took place over Super Bowl Sunday with my good friend Kelly in her workroom by the lake. It was fun to have someone as talented as Kelly to work with and as they say "many hands make light work". After a fun evening filled with sewing, dinner and a little football I had the draperies completed except for pleating. On my next trip back home to Virginia I would spend an afternoon with my Mother in the workroom where we pleated the panels and I applied the trim using Rowley Fringe adhesive to make quick work of the project. www.RowleyCompany.com

I was so excited when the hardware and draperies were all finished and ready to install. Unfortunately my busy schedule prevented me from doing more than putting up the privacy curtains on tension rods. I enjoyed having the added privacy with the blinds opened and knew that the rest of the project would be installed soon enough.


Finally the day came where I took the time to finish my project. I love the European brackets, they are so easy to install. I was lucky enough to hit wood so didn't even need anchors (partly because of good pre-planning). Rods up, draperies up and I am very pleased with my new, colorful dining area. I am looking forward to entertaining. Come eat!